|Olentangy River, Columbus, June 5, 2011|
This past Sunday afternoon I photographed this common map turtle. Or I thought it was a common map turtle. I even named my photo for this post "common_map_turtle_olentangy". I always do a little cursory research before I post something, and my search for common map turtle turned up a wiki article for "Northern Map Turtle". Northern Map Turtle? What the heck is that? Well- it turns out that there is a committee that produces a list of standard common and scientific names for North American Herps north of Mexico.
In their latest publication the committee changed the name from "common map turtle" to "northern map turtle". Why? They give this reasoning- "We have changed the name from Common Map Turtle because of the possibility that the word “common” might be misinterpreted to imply abundance rather than to the fact that it has a broad range."
There you go- broad range, not necessarily common. Therefore, we have the Northern Map Turtle. That name is going to take me some time to get used to.