12 scientific names

The California condor has not always been called by that name. In the 19th century, the common name assigned to this bird was typically some form of “vulture”.

Perhaps surprisingly, the scientific name for the California condor has also changed – and it has changed more often than the common name. In this post I list and briefly explain 12 of the scientific, latinate names given to the species we now know as the California condor.

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More on Pseudogryps

An early post to this blog explained the blog’s name. To summarize that older post, Pseudogryps is not a scientific name that was ever formally applied to the California condor or any other species. Rather, Pseudogryps was set out by Elliott Coues to explain why he considered Pseudogryphus, a name that was formally applied to the California condor, to be “flawed”. The flaw was that Pseudogryphus mixed the Greek pseudo with the Latin gryphus. Coues’s Pseudogryps had the same meaning as Pseudogryphus, but Pseudogryps was “pure” Greek.

In this post, I dig deeper into Pseudogryps and Pseudogryphus.

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