All right, Ladies and Gentlemen! Here is another link to things both Tolkien *and* Science!!
It seems biologists and botanists have some ahem leeway in how they assign Linnean nomenclature to new discoveries:
from "Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature" found here: http://home.earthlink.net/~misaak/taxonomy.html
comes various lists on this theme. One particular scientis, Leigh Van Valen is also partial to Tolkien and has named a number of ancient species from the Professor's works:
Claenodon mumak (Van Valen, 1978) (Paleocene mammal) after M++mak, the Middle Earth elephant
Mithrandir Van Valen, 1978 (Paleocene mammal) one of the names of the wizard Gandalf.
Niphredil radagasti Van Valen, 1978 (Paleocene mammal, now in genus Paleotomus) Niphredil is a small Middle Earth flower. Radagast the Brown was a wizard.
Some other scientists have named things along this vein:
Galaxias gollumoides (fresh-water fish) Named after Gollum because it has large eyes and was found in a swamp.
Gollum Compagno, 1973 (catshark)
More can be found here:http://home.earthlink.net/~misaak/taxonomy/taxEtym.html a bit more then half way down the page.
There are lots of entertaining names here including (for cartoon fans)
Strigiphilus garylarsoni Clayton, ~1989 (owl louse) "I considered this an extreme honor. Besides, I knew no one was going to write and ask to name a new species of swan after me. You have to grab these opportunities when they come along." - Gary Larson
And for any Japanese Monster movie fans:
Gojirasaurus Carpenter, 1997 (theropod dinosaur) "Gojira" is the Japanese name for Godzilla (but the dinosaur was found in New Mexico).
Godzillius Yager, 1986 (remipede crustacean) These are the largest such crustaceans, from underwater caves in the Bahamas. The family Godzilliidae takes its name from this genus.
Godzilligonomus Yager, 1989 (godzilliid) The smallest remipede. [Bull. of Marine Sci. 44(3):1195]
Pleomothra Yager, 1989 (godzilliid) Named after Mothra. [Bull. of Marine Sci. 44(3):1195]
Sinemys gamera Brinkman & Peng, 1993 (Japanese fossil turtle) Named after the giant Japanese fire-breathing flying turtle. The fossil has wing-like projections from its shell.
There's alot of entertaining names here. I hope you enjoy them