If you guessed Europe and Asia, then you were exactly right, as you can see in the range map of the Eurasian lynx below! If you are still having a little trouble with this, go ahead and review the first paragraph before continuing on, and see if you can figure out why you got this question wrong.
Next, let's look at L. canadensis, commonly called the Canada lynx. We've already established that "lynx" doesn't seem to refer to a place on Earth, so let's look at the "Canada" part of the name. A quick Internet search comes up with an exotic country by the same name, "Canada." Let's make a hypothesis about where the Canada lynx makes its home.
If you guessed "Canada," then you are spot on again, as you can see in the range map of the Canada lynx below! Again, if you are still having some trouble, go ahead and review before you move on again.
Now, the third lynx, L. pardinus, is actually pretty tough. Called the "Iberian lynx," this Critically Endangered cat is native to only a small bit of the "Iberian Peninsula," in Spain and Portugal. I knew you guys weren't ready for this one yet, so that's why I skipped it. Don't worry, you will have another shot at a tough one like this later.
There are actually four members of the genus Lynx, but we've only talked about three so far. What about the fourth? And can you tell where all animals live, just by using their common name? You actually can't always tell, as we can see with Lynx rufus, commonly called the bobcat. If you break down the name "bobcat" into its component parts, "bo" and "bcat," you can see that neither part of the name refers to a specific place in the world.
I know I'm moving pretty fast, so feel free to hang back for a minute or two if you need a moment for a breather, to recuperate. Meanwhile, let's take a look at a few more examples. First off, where do you think the recently discovered Omani owl is from?
As many of you guessed, the country of Oman is exactly right! Although researchers aren't positive that this is a new owl as scientists haven't been able to closely examine a specimen, initial investigations indicate that this might be a brand new species of owl!
Let's look at the four living members of the penguin genus Spheniscus, Spheniscus mendiculus, S. magellanicus, S. humboldti, and S. demersus. The first, S. mendiculus, is often called the Galápagos penguin. Do you think it is named after the Galápagos Islands? (For those of you who don't know where the Galápagos are, you can consult the map below the picture of the Galápagos penguin.)
Exactly right! The Galápagos penguins is indeed found in the Galápagos! The next two, S. magellanicus and S. humboldti, (the Magellanic and Humboldt penguins) aren't actually named for where they live: they are named for famous explorers!
|A picture of a Humboldt penguin that I took at the Denver Zoo.|
|A huddle of African penguins, also at the Denver Zoo.|
|A picture of the great-horned owl that Anne Price and the folks at the Raptor Education Foundation bring to the raptor shows at the Best Western Denver Southwest dinosaur hotel!|
You guys sure did great: now go out there and try and make some new friends by telling them all of your new knowledge!