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#140 Saudi Gazelle


This is another species that until recently was thought to be part of another species. It was actually considered to be a subspecies of the Dorcas gazelle. After genetic testing, they realized it was a separate species. Unfortunately, while they were thought to be just a subspecies, conservationists didn't worry until too late. They were considered extinct in the wild by 1980, but it was thought that captive breeding programs would be able to bring them back. Sadly, because they weren't kept separate, apparently all those that were thought to be Saudi gazelles are not, or are at best hybrids. Because of that, they were classified as extinct in 2008.

It would be amazing to be involved in discovering, classifying, or naming a species. Some of the animals out there though, you wonder about the person who named them. I feel bad for the Bizarre Nosed Chameleon for, the Rotund Mystery Snail, and the Ugly Worm Lizard. The Nearby Pearly Mussel is a strange one for me. It is sad because they are extinct, but seriously, why on earth the "nearby" mussel? Nearby what? In my head, there were biologists out trying to find some other animal. They weren't able to find anything during their week long survey and on their way home, one of them stumbled over a mussel they realized was a new species. They were tired from all their searching before. Standing around in a sleep deprived group, they were asked "where did you find it, and what are you naming it?" and someone said "it's a, oh, nearby, pearly mussel..." planning to say they hadn't named it yet and that got written down so that is what it was named. Seriously, I'm sure there was a good reason for that, and I know the rotund snails don't take their name personally, but while researching animals, I often end up giggling a bit.

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