The Higgs bison

I don’t care what you say. Scientists are people. I mean that in the best possible way. You’ve probably heard about how species are named sometimes. This means, of course, that there simply had to be a #dadjoke hidden away in the literature. I am proud to announce that I found it — or one of them more likely. Here’s another one. Anyway, behold the Wikipedia-story of the European bison (Bison bonasus):

The European bison (Bison bonasus), also known as wisent, zubr, or the European wood bison, is a Eurasian species of bison. It is one of two extant species of bison, alongside the American bison. Three subspecies existed in the recent past, but only one, the nominate subspecies (B. b. bonasus) survives today. Analysis of mitochondrial genomes and nuclear DNA revealed that the wisent is theoretically the result of hybridisation between the extinct Steppe bison (Bison priscus) and the ancestors of the aurochs (Bos primigenius) since their genetic material contains up to 10% aurochs genomic ancestry; the possible hybrid is referred to informally as the Higgs bison, a play-on-words in reference to the Higgs boson. Alternatively, the Pleistocene woodland bison has been suggested as the ancestor to the species.

I love how the whole thing is explained in the article, too. No dad joke is complete without an explanation. Thank you, Wikipedia. Now I know what an informal play-on-words is. 😀

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