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[Zbrafish] Meaning of Zebrafish's scientific name

Jim Endersby jje21 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Oct 4 14:01:01 EST 2005


I'm a post-doctoral historian of science, currently writing a chapter
on zebrafish for an introductory history of genetics. I'm trying to
find out what the Zebrafish's scientific name actually means.

I understand "Danio" comes from the fish's Indian name "Dhani"
(although I don't know which Indian language this was from and would be
interested to know): "spawn" are dhani in Bengali, but I've also been
told that "dhani" meant wealthy in Hindi/Sanskrit.

The original generic name, Brachydanio, simply adds the prefix Brachy-
("short" in Greek) to it.

But what does the specific name "rerio" mean?

If anyone can answer these questions or suggest a suitable source for
answering it, I would be most grateful. As this is a bit off topic,
please email me directly (jje21 at cam.ac.uk) and I'll post a summary of
anything I did up here.

Thanks, Jim


Dr Jim Endersby, Research Fellow Darwin College, University of

* Postal address: Darwin College, Silver Street, Cambridge, CB3 9EU
* Work phone: 01223-740 216
* Home phone: 01223-690 362
* Web: http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/dept/endersby.html

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