“For the first time in hundreds of years, the night has come alive with the hissing of beetles.”
Alright, not quite. However, an entomology professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has decided to christen three of his recently discovered beetles species after Daenerys’ scaly children: drogoni, rhaegali and viserioni.
As you might expect, Professor Brett Ratcliffe is a pretty big Game of Thrones fan. He admitted to the Omaha World Herald that part of his reasoning for making namesakes of Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, was just to have some fun.
“I’ve often thought that scientists take themselves too seriously,” Ratcliffe said, “and this is a way to circumvent that.”
In fairness, Ratcliffe has named hundreds of species over the course of his 50-year career. As one can imagine, it gets difficult to come up with new ideas, after a while. However, there was also a practical reason behind Ratcliffe’s decision. He hopes that dubbing these beetles after such iconic dragons might inspire more public interest in the earth’s biodiversity.
“When you create names like these, you do it to gain a little bit of notoriety and bring public attention to it,” Ratcliffe said. “We’re still discovering life on Earth. One of every four living things on Earth is a beetle. We haven’t discovered them all. We’re not even close.”