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equal rights

This snail species is named in honor of marriage equality

A new snail species is named to reflect the "diversity of sexual orientation in the animal kingdom," scientists say. Aegista diversifamilia, a hermaphroditic snail, has both female and male reproductive organs.

Scientists from the Academia Sinica in Taipei and the National Taiwan Normal University are responsible for naming the new species, which is described in a study published Monday in the journal ZooKeys. Dr. Yen-Chang Lee, co-author of the study, told The Guardian that his team's research efforts "coincided with major struggles for same-sex marriage rights in Taiwan and worldwide." Taiwan recently tabled a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, and protesters gathered outside Taiwan's parliament last week to show support for marriage equality.

The newly discovered land snail is an eastern species that's endemic to Taiwan, and its name is now a part of Zoobank, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature's official species registry. --Meghan DeMaria