The bird known as the great blue heron in English-speaking countries is known as the grand héron bleu in areas of the world that speak French. But to scientists all over the world, the bird is known by its Latin name, Ardea herodias.
Each living organism is given a two-part Latin name (these Latin names may be based on other languages), which consists of its genus name, followed by its species name.
There is no system as to how genus and species names are chosen: Many are a form of the name of the person who discovered the organism or where it is found. Many animal names describe an animal or its behavior.
Here are two lists: One contains the common names of animals found in the Chesapeake and its watershed, the other contains their Latin names, including translations.
Can you match them up?
Baeolophus bicolor / Baeolophus (having a small crest) bicolor (two-colored)
Callinectes sapidus /Callinectes (beautiful swimmer) sapidus (savory)
Colaptus auratus / Colaptus (pecking/chiseling) auratus (gilded)
Cyanocitta cristata / Cyanocitta (dark blue chattering bird) cristata (crested)
Danaus plexippus / Danaus (King of Argo in a Greek myth who ordered his daughters to marry, then murder their husbands) plexippus (the name of one of the husbands)
Drycopus pileatus / Drycopus (tree dagger) pileatus (capped)
Marmota monax / Marmota (marmot) monax (digger)
Mimus polyglottos / Mimus (a mimic) polyglottus (many-tongued)
Passer domesticus / Passer (small bird) domesticus (belonging to a home/house)
Pseudacris crucifer / Pseudacris (false locust) crucifer (cross-bearer)
Tamius striatus / Tamius (collector/keeper) striatus (striped)
Turdus migratorius / Turdus (thrush) migratorius (wandering)
American Robin: Turdus migratorius
Blue Crab: Callinectes sapidus
Blue Jay: Cyanocitta cristata
Eastern Chipmunk: Tamius striatus
Groundhog: Marmota monax
House Sparrow: Passer domesticus
Monarch Butterfly: Danaus plexippus
Northern Flicker: Colaptus auratus
Northern Mockingbird: Mimus polyglottus
Pileated Woodpecker: Drycopus pileatus
Spring Peeper: Pseudacris crucifer
Tufted Titmouse: Baeolophus bicolor