In continuation of their family-friendly tradition, Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) recently announced their annual naming contest. Last year, a pair of seahorses had the honor of being named (Hide and Seek) by an 8-year-old MMA patron. For this season, the MMA brings to the stage two very different critters: a tortoise and a lobster.
Name the Tortoise
Found strolling two years ago by the Atheneum, the tortoise is a Bell’s hingeback, an African tortoise species. The MMA believes that the reptile “was most likely collected in the wild in Africa and lived as a pet here on Nantucket.” Unfortunately, this little guy isn’t the only pet tortoise the MMA has encountered. Luckily for reptile fans, they can help the animal feel more at home at the Natural Science Museum with a name. Make sure to think about it though: “This tortoise can live for many decades,” wrote the MMA, “so we are looking for a good long lasting name!” May we suggest Finding Nemo for some inspiration?
Name the Lobster
Also in need of a name is the MMA’s new calico lobster, a very rare coloration of the North American calico species. The lobster’s shell, largely orange with black mottling, makes this critter a 1-in-30-million variation, according to the MMA. The lobster, donated by Sayle’s Seafood, joins the MMA’s other rare lobster resident, a 1-in-10-million bright orange lobster named Clementine. Like Clementine and the yet-unnamed tortoise, this multi-colored guy needs a carefully chosen name: “Lobsters are extremely long lived creatures—longer than tortoises!” wrote the MMA, “So this lobster needs a particularly long lasting name!” A certain (fictional) Indiana town could provide inspiration for the name of a much-loved local animal.
In the next few days, swing by the Natural Science Museum and the Aquarium at the Corner of Milk and Vestal Sts. and 28 Washington St, respectively, to visit the animals and get a feel for their personalities before submitting your choice for their names. The last day to enter will be Thursday, August 14. The next day, August 15, the MMA will announce the new names for the animals. If you submitted the chosen name, more than honor will be bestowed upon you—you’ll also get a “secret” prize.