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Hemimastigophora

Halifax. New branch of life. Hairy-pistachio-nut microbes named after a terrifying hairy ogre from Mi’kmaq folklore. The awkward scurrying. I could not love this more.

“It looks kind of like a pistachio nut with little hairs coming from between the shells,” said Eglit. “And it scurries around kind of awkwardly and it eats other complex single celled organisms.”

. . . the tradition in naming species is to give them Greek or Latin names, but the researchers wanted to honour the fact the dirt sample was found on the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia.

As a result, one of the species has been named “Hemimastix kukwesjijk.” Kukwes is a hairy man-eating ogre from Mi’kmaq folklore.

“It just happens to be they have an ogre-like creature who is also hairy and terrifying and eats other creatures and it seems to match what this organism was . . .”

via Microbe reveals ‘major new branch’ of evolutionary tree, Halifax researchers say – The Globe and Mail

At Nature: Hemimastigophora is a novel supra-kingdom-level lineage of eukaryotes

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