Game of Thrones-loving professor names new beetle species after Daenerys’ dragons

dany dragons

“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.”

30 responses

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    1. that’s really cool.
      btw I’d love an article about a trailer release date guess. we’ve got 7 seasons to analyse and calculate the trend. could be interesting

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    2. Ten Bears:
      “Smash the beetles! Kuh! Kuh! Kuh! Smash the beetles!”

      -O.L.

      Orson…”The smasher of beetles” I hope the ending doesn’t all come down to Tyrion repeating his thoughts about Orson. (I would like to see a fire breathing beetle…but not in my yard)
      ###
      Tyrion Lannister:
      I was curious. Why was he smashing all those beetles? What did he get out of it? First thing I did was ask him. “Orson, why are you smashing all those beetles?” He gave me an answer. “Smash the beetles! Smash them! Kun kun kun!” I wasn’t deterred. I was the smartest person I knew, certainly I had the wherewithal to unravel the mysteries that lay at the heart of a moron. So I went to Maester Valeric’s library.

      Jaime Lannister:
      Valeric. Tried to touch me once.

      Tyrion Lannister:
      Turns out far too much has been written about great men and not nearly enough about morons. Doesn’t seem right. In any case, I found nothing that illuminated the nature of Orson’s affliction or the reason behind his relentless beetles slaughter. So I went back to the source. I may not have been able to speak with Orson, but I could observe him, watch him, the way men watch animals to come to a deeper understanding of their behavior. [Tyrion picks up a bug off the floor] And as I watched, I became more and more sure of it: there was something happening there. His face was like the page of a book written in a language I didn’t understand, but he wasn’t mindless, he had his reasons. And I became possessed with knowing what they were. I began spending inordinate amounts of time watching him. I would eat my lunch in the garden, chewing my mutton to the music of “kun kun kun”. And when I wasn’t watching him, I was thinking about him. Father droned on about the family legacy and I thought about Orson’s beetles. I read the histories of Targaryen conquests. Did I hear dragon wings? No, I heard “kun kun kun”. And I still couldn’t figure out why he was doing it. And I had to know because it was horrible, that all these beetles would be dying for no reason.

      Jaime Lannister:
      Every day around the world, men, women, and children are murdered by the score. Who gives a dusty f*** about a bunch of beetles?

      Tyrion Lannister:
      I know, I know, but still it filled me with dread. Piles and piles of them, years and years of them. How many countless living, crawling things smashed, dried out, and returned to the dirt? In my dreams, I found myself standing on a beach made of beetle husks stretching as far as the eye can see. I woke up, crying, weeping for their shattered little bodies. I tried to stop Orson once.

      Jaime Lannister:
      He was twice your size.

      Tyrion Lannister:
      He just pushed me aside with a “kun”, kept on smashing. Every day. Until that mule kicked him in the chest and killed him. [Tyrion releases the bug and it crawls away] So what do you think? Why did he do it? What’s it all about?

      Jaime Lannister:
      I don’t know. [the bells toll, signalling the time is approaching; Jaime stands and walks to the door of the cell] Good luck today.

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    3. dragonreborn:
      that’s really cool.
      btw I’d love an article about a trailer release date guess. we’ve got 7 seasons to analyse and calculate the trend. could be interesting

      I think a trailer would be rad and truly can’t wait! However, I’ve looked into the future, and I know how this will unfold:

      A. We write an article covering whatever GOT news is out there during the long (LONG) winter – Like this excellent piece about beetles by Petra, for example!
      B. Someone suggests we speculate about the trailer.
      C. We write a piece speculating about the trailer, where we don’t have any actual information and it’s purely speculation.
      D. Someone comments asking why we are bothering to speculate about the trailer and that we are only posting clickbait.
      E. We then don’t post about the lack of news about the trailer.
      F. Someone then asks why we are aren’t posting about the trailer.

      ^How’d I do? Lol

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    4. This is quite a fun post. I think in recent years a few light coloured cats have been called “Khaleesi” or “Daenerys” (sp?) – maybe other animals as well.

      I was about to post but when I typed my WoW alias I nearly typed “Dame of Thrones”.

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    5. Ten Bears: “Smash the beetles! Kuh! Kuh! Kuh! Smash the beetles!”

      Although I try not to think too much about that nauseating scene, I wonder which sick imaginations it came out of, what their problem is, and why all the other scriptwriters, directors and producers thought it was a good idea to film. Maybe the same process that had too many scenes of Tyrion teaching Missandei and Grey Worm to drink and tell lame jokes.

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    6. Tron79,

      Tyrion’s line: “And as I watched, I became more and more sure of it: there was something happening there. His face was like the page of a book written in a language I didn’t understand…” sums up my Dual Layer, Ultra Tinfoil Theory explaining the yet-to-be fired “hung guns” + what I call the “conspicuously empty gun rack”, i.e., a place when we should have seen a loaded gun but none was there.

      (If that sounds cryptic and convoluted, it is.)

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    7. zandru,

      I suppose Tyrion was bemoaning the fact that millions of people are slaughtered indiscriminately, and he was trying to make sense of it all.

      But yeah, that speech went on for too long. They could’ve used that time for Arya to slice and dice some bad guys – or to exchange insults with the Hound.

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    8. Tron79,

      Or maybe Tyrion’s inability to understand Orson was intended to be a commentary on the White Walkers: they seem like homicidal automatons, but they have their reasons. (I don’t buy into the explanation that the WW represent death, without conscious motivation.)

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    9. Soon to be extinct cos some Trump-lovin’ turds will pave over its habitat with concrete and put in a distribution warehouse for an Internet shopping company. Happy New Year.

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    10. To change the subject, we can only hope that, 100 years from now, when entomologists look at these species of beetles, they understand the references to drogon, rhaegal and viserion. After all, last year was the 200th anniversary of “Frankenstein”, and we’re STILL talking about it. In many ways, it’s more relevant than ever! It would be great if ASOIAF had the same classic longevity and continuing relevance.

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    11. dragonreborn:
      that’s really cool.
      btw I’d love an article about a trailer release date guess. we’ve got 7 seasons to analyse and calculate the trend. could be interesting

      I think trailer in February. Just saw the updated HBO schedule and True Detective will have a double episode premiere on 1/13. Season 3 consists of 8 episodes so that puts the finale on 2/24. If Big Little Lies Season 2 which is 7 episodes ends up premiering before GoT then it could run the from the Sunday after TD S3. That would place it from 3/3-4/14. GoT could premiere 4/21 then.

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    12. Jack Bauer 24,
      Yep, people were seeing that double episode premiere for TD a few weeks ago so that bolstered my already strong belief that GoT will premiere on the 21st, or no later than that date. However, the thought changed a bit this week with people believing BLL will not air until June… because Nicole Kidman herself on New Year’s Eve said that’s when she thinks it will. If that is true it does open up the earlier Sundays in April.

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    13. Clob:
      Jack Bauer 24,
      Yep, people were seeing that double episode premiere for TD a few weeks ago so that bolstered my already strong belief that GoT will premiere on the 21st, or no later than that date.However, the thought changed a bit this week with people believing BLL will not air until June… because Nicole Kidman herself on New Year’s Eve said that’s when she thinks it will.If that is true it does open up the earlier Sundays in April.

      Interesting bit about Kidman’s comments. Not sure if HBO has anything else in the pipeline that could premiere after TD. If BLL isn’t until after GoT, that would leave March void of any of their big dramas until GoT in April.

      @Dragonbringer Looks like they didn’t release one this year. All I see on the HBO YouTube channel is their “Coming Soon/Coming in 2019” video from back in August where we got the first Season 8 footage with the quick clip of Jon and Sansa hugging.

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    14. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      Or maybe Tyrion’s inability to understand Orson was intended to be a commentary on the White Walkers: they seem like homicidal automatons, but they have their reasons. (I don’t buy into the explanation that the WW represent death, without conscious motivation.)

      Yeah, I think Tyrion’s description was definitely an allegory for something to do with the WW’s. But in the end, they may not have time with 6 episodes left to explain it all, such as why the WW’s came up with the spiral design. In the end, we may be left with us thinking Tyrion’s line, ‘What does it all mean..” and Jaime’s saying…”I don’t know….”

      Maybe Maester Sam will have time to go back and do more research on imbeciles when the wars are over….

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    15. Ten Bears, zandru, Tron79:

      The Sorry Tale of Orson BeetlesBane remains one of my favorite scenes in the entire show. Of course, it has Peter Dinklage’s excellent delivery, NCW’s support, and great direction, but mostly it’s the script.

      Tyrion desperately wants to understand Orson’s behavior, but he has no science, which is the only dependable way of acquiring knowledge. A naturalistic world-view simply cannot develop in the presence of magic. Therefore, Tyrion has no real hope of understanding Orson’s behavior — or anything else — until the magic goes away.

      This is one more, albeit small, reason for me to believe it will.

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    16. Tensor the Mage, Who Is Deeply Happy That Magic Does Not Exist In Our World,

      The “beetles scene” is also one of my favourites. Excellent Dink and NCW. Two brothers talk about both the meaning and randomness of life. It also relates to the use and abuse of power. I also like your context re magic vs science. (I also expect magic to leave Westeros by the end. ) And I suppose at the plot level what is the meaning re WW and their symbols – does it mean anything and is Westeros failing to pay attention and communicate.

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