Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Need a Mnemonic

Okay, I already know a mnemonic device for figuring out Linnean taxonomy: Kings Play Chess On Fine Green Squares (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Speces). I also know a funny one for the major time periods of the Cenozoic: Purple Elephants On My Purple Pajamas (Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene).

Now I need another one. I'm trying to learn the names of the shorter time periods which make up the Mesozoic. I know Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, of course. But there are other, briefer, periods which further divides that time period into more accessable segments. Do any of you out there in Readerland know a helpful mnemonic device for them?

For the curious:

Early Triassic: Induan, Olenekian
Middle Triassic: Anisian, Ladinian
Late Triassic: Carnian, Norian, Rhaetian
Early Jurassic: Hattangian, Sinemurian, Pliensbachian, Toarcian
Middle Jurassic: Aalenian, Bajocian, Bathonian, Callovian
Late Jurassic: Oxfordian, Kimmeridgian, Tithonian
Early Cretaceous: Berriasian, Valanginian, Hauterivian, Barremian, Aptian, Albian
Late Cretaceous: Cenomanian, Turonian, Coniacian, Santonian, Campanian, Maastrichtian

I think I'm screwed.


Sean Craven said...

Well, I'll have to think about this. My initial impulse is to say that it needs to be some kind of verse. Setting it to a tune would help make it memorable. Make it a well-known pop song...

Hmm. This might be doable. Let us ponder. I wouldn't mind having this memorized myself.

Nick Gardner said...

I wish I could offer you a suggestion, but I largely muscled this one to get it into my memory, and I still usually don't recall the epochs outside of the Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic, aside from knowing which period they were in.

ScottE said...

(I always liked King Peter Came Over For Grape Soda.) But anyway...

Triassic: Indians Of Antiquity Left Canada Near Rhodesia

ScottE said...

Jurassic: Hairy Spaniards Tickled Agatha By Bathing Cupid's Oxfordish Knightly Tithe

ScottE said...

Whoops! Jurassic should read:

Hairy Spaniards Pampered Tickled Agatha By Bathing Cupid's Oxfordish Knightly Tithe

ScottE said...


But Villainy, Hubert Bacon Aptly Averred, Can Tolerate Canonical Sainthood's Camp Masterfully

Emile said...

How about:

Triassic: Iguanas Often Antagonize Little Caimans, Not Rails.

Jurassic: Harpies Savagely Plunder The Arboreal Bastions, Brutally Carrying Off Kinkajou Tots.

Cretaceous: Bushmaster Vipers Hostilely Bite Anything Appealing, Commonly The Closest Species Currently Moving.

Brad said...

You may be suffering from too little information, not too much. Of course the stages of the Mesozoic are very difficult to remember if they're just big words that don't mean anything. So learn one fact about each one, like a major geological event, the first or last appearance of a group of organisms, or simply the age of a particular fossil that you like and will remember. For example, you could associate Carnian with the earliest known occurrence of Dinosauria. Know your timeline of Mesozoic events, and the terms may be easier.