I once tried to create an interesting trivia question, where cheating with Google wouldn't help you. I think I did rather well. I do realise that posting this question here completely defeats the purpose, since Google will probably find this question afterwards. (The things we do for fake internet points..) But anyway, here's the question:

The Brown Bear is nominally connected to the Black Rhino. How?

Hint 1, from the comments: (won't give away much, but spoiler tagged anyway)

a Golden Lab does not share this connection, and neither does a Blue Whale.

Hint 2: (I can't set a bounty until overmorrow, but at least I can keep this question active.)

The connection is purely nominal.

Hint 3: (wasn't needed by RaT, who solved the puzzle already (wow!), but will come handy if you want to try to solve the puzzle yourself)

Actually, no other animal species shares this connection, at least as far as I can tell.


The connection is, indeed, nominal:

it's in their Latin names, of course.


both the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) and the Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) have binomial names in which both words mean the same thing - bear and two-horned respectively - in Latin and Greek.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh wow, that was quick! $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Dec 18 '17 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass I've long nurtured an interest in animal taxonomy ;-) Latin names are an obvious (to me) first thing to look at for a question like this. At first I was wondering if the two Latin names would be anagrams or something, but eventually the penny dropped. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '17 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'm still very impressed; it's usually quite a leap from scientific names ("the two random looking foreign words that are the species' name") to the "Oh! I can read that!" moment required here. (Of course, I'm assuming you don't actually speak either of the languages, that would definitely count as cheating :-) $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Dec 18 '17 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass Nah, I don't speak Latin or Greek, but I still knew the meaning of "ursus", "di", and "bi" on sight, and the Wikipedia pages you linked to provided the rest. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '17 at 16:52
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    $\begingroup$ @RupertMorrish I always thought it was, and that the region in turn was named after the constellation. At least that’s how it would make sense to me; haven’t ever tried to verify any of that, though. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Dec 18 '17 at 19:58

The prefix rhino- is used before actions or facets related to the nose. Brown bears usually have black noses, so in this way, brown bears are usually connected to a black rhino right in the front.

  • $\begingroup$ A good try, but the connection runs somewhat deeper. Here's a small extra hint for your efforts though: a Golden Lab does not share this connection, and neither does a Blue Whale. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Dec 18 '17 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ the black rhino is pretty-much the same colour as the while rhino. $\endgroup$
    – Jasen
    Dec 19 '17 at 1:48

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