7 scientific discoveries named after Canadians

Would you believe there’s spider named for Neil Young?

Chilicola kevani, a species of bee (CP Photo/HO, SpeciesID, OpenMedia)

1. Gryphoceratops morrisoni and Unescoceratops koppelhusae, small horned dinosaurs
About 83 million years ago, a small horned dinosaur about the size of a dog roamed Alberta. Officially described in research published in January, Gryphoceratops morrisoni is the smallest adult-sized horned dinosaur in North America, and one of the smallest adult-sized plant-eating dinosaurs known; it’s named for Ian Morrison, a paleobiology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, who figured out how its jaw bones fit together. Also described in January, Unescoceratops koppelhusae lived about 75 million years ago, and had a short frill on its head and a parrot-like beak. The dino was named after the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Alberta, where it was found, and after scientist Eva Koppelhus, wife of renowned Canadian paleontologist Phil Currie, who discovered it.
SOURCE: Royal Ontario Museum

2. Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, a spider

When East Carolina University biologist Jason Bond discovered a new species of trapdoor spider, he named it after his favourite musician—Canadian icon Neil Young. “There are rather strict rules about how you name new species,” said Bond in a statement. “As long as these rules are followed you can give a new species just about any name you please.” Why Neil Young? “I really enjoy his music,” he said, also citing his work as a peace activist.
SOURCE: Reuters

3. Asteroid 5953 Shelton

This asteroid was named for Canadian astronomer Ian Shelton, born in Winnipeg, made famous by his discovery of a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud in 1987.
SOURCE: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

4. Asteroid 2104 Toronto

The first minor planet to be discovered at a Canadian observatory, it was discovered in 1963 and named for the University of Toronto, a crucial institution in the development of Canadian astronomy.
SOURCE: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

5. Chilicola kevani, a species of bee
A bee discovered in the Brazilian state of Bahia carries the name of a University of Guelph professor: insect ecologist Peter Kevan was honoured by becoming this bee’s namesake this year. Kevan’s work on bee pollination dates all the way back to the 1970s, and has looked at pollinators from the Arctic to tropic jungles.
SOURCE: University of Guelph

6. Canadian “explorer series” of roses

Called Canada’s greatest contribution to the world of roses, the “explorer series” bear many famous names: the Alexander MacKenzie, for example, is described by the Canadian Rose Society as a “tall, upright, vigorous shrub,” while the Champlain is a fragrant, velvety red that flowers through summer and fall, and the Henry Hudson is white with a pink tinge.
SOURCE: Canadian Rose Society

7. Groatite, a mineral

Three decades ago, scientists took samples from Bernic Lake, Manitoba—and, in 2010, announced they’d discovered a new species of phosphate mineral in the sample, naming it after University of British Columbia mineralogy professor Lee Groat, who called himself “surprised and honoured.”
SOURCE: The Canadian Mineralogist

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7 scientific discoveries named after Canadians

  1. The Canadian Explorer roses are awesome. Those of us who live on the cold prairies appreciate hardy roses that bloom several times throughout the season. The John Cabot is a fantastic red climber and the Henry Hudson is a beautiful white shrub. They are all stellar performers and need no special attention. As an avid gardener, I thank the people who are continuing to propagate fantastic new Canadian plant life, some of which will survive even the zone 1 areas of the Canadian north.

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