What cetacean is named for a famous polyglot and malacologist?


The Dall’s porpoise is named for American naturalist William Healey Dall (1845-1927) who published more than 1,600 research papers and reviews. A global leader in malacology (study of mollusks), Dall described and detailed more than 5,300 mollusk species. Though born in Massachussetts, Dall became a polyglot (a person who speaks several languages) when his mollusk studies took him the regions around the North Pacific Ocean including Russian, Alaska, and the Yukon. It is unclear how many languages Dall spoke, but his global recognitions from the scientific community include honors from across Europe and North America.

The Dall’s sheep is also named for Dall as are 10 species of mollusks.


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