First, just to be clear in case anyone missed my post yesterday, renaming the false killer whale is just an idea at this point, not a real opportunity. But for the sake of discussion I thought it would be fun to brainstorm some new names. Remember this is brainstorming, so all ideas are acceptable at this point to prevent inhibiting the delicate brainstorming process.
Since the genus name Pseudorca didn’t work out, I thought I would first turn to the species name for ideas. Crasssidens, according to NOAA’s website, means thick or dense tooth. Dense toothy whale? Okay so that’s not going to work. Maybe shortening crassidens into a cool nickname might work, like Crassi whale…or not.
That means it’s time to be creative, it’s time to think outside the box and come up with a completely original name. To me, it makes sense to start by looking at certain unique behaviors and characteristics of the false killer whale. We know that Hawaii’s false killer whales hunt together and pass fish back and forth before eating. This indicates a special type of tradition or culture only understood by these whales. Passing food back and forth before a meal also indicates manners and refined social expectations, which makes me think of royalty or a stately species. That brings to mind the following words: royal, noble, regal, dignified and majestic. Hmm, I’m not really sold on any of those.
That brings us to the “look” of the false killer whale, its color and shape. The color is a deep charcoal black, which brings to mind midnight, night, dusk, twilight, shadow, granite and slate. There already is a dusky dolphin, so that name is taken. Moving on to the shape of the false killer whale, which is less inspiring, maybe bullet, torpedo, boomerang or submarine. Okay now is the time to admit that this naming thing is hard, no wonder people defaulted to the scientific name. But I’m not giving up!
What about naming the false killer whale after an already famous and respected leader, icon or superhero? Batman is probably copyrighted, but may bat, or Robin Hood, Merlin, bummer I’m already running out of ideas for that line of thought. False killer whales prefer hanging out in tropical and temperate waters and near islands, so maybe a Hawaiian word or phrase would be appropriate. Mahalo is Hawaiian for thank you, which seems fitting based on the tradition of sharing food. Or akamai means smart, intelligent, and kokua means help, cooperation, both of these also seem fitting. (By the way all the Hawaiian words are from the internet, so don’t quote me on those, we would need an expert to weigh in.) And since false killer whales need better PR in Hawaii, maybe a Hawaiian word is good or possibly it’s just extra confusing…so many things to consider!
I’m not against naming false killer whales after a very generous donor or benefactor who decides to spend let’s say three to four million to save Hawaii’s false killer whales. Or even a corporation, instead of the Staples Center, the Staples whale. I know, not very catchy, but if it stops Hawaii’s false killer whales from going extinct, it might just be worth it. Does anyone else have any name ideas? Clearly this is not my area of expertise.
Happy New Year’s everyone! Wishing you and Hawaii’s false killer whales a great 2011!