Pensive

Animal Groups

This is from an article in a newspaper from years back.  I'm transcribing it in order to save it, 'cos it's old as hell, and may get lost in the move.
 
SINGULARITIES
by Scott Lafee
Groups of Animals Are Collected into a Knot of Nouns

The language of biological science is rooted in ancient Greek and Latin, in words like Homo sapiens and Tyrannosaurus rex.  If you're a scientist, this makes good sense because both languages are dead (or comatose at least) and not likely to change.  That means scientific words don't become obsolete.  And new ones can be created as needed by stringing together syllables of different, distinct meaning, the result readily deciphered by researchers from Montana to Mongolia.

But let's face it, there's not much fun in saying Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, the scientific moniker for the green sea urchin.  Plus, it's damned hard to pronounce.

On the other hand, appellations ascribed to groups of animals, as in a pride of lions, are often inspired, if not well-known.  Herewith, a sampling of some of the more obscure names.  Feel free to clip for future reference, trivial pursuits, and games of Scrabble.
BIRDSMAMMALS
Bitterns - a Sedge
Buzzards - a Wake
Bobolinks - a Chain
Coots - a Cover
Cormorants - a Gulp
Cranes - a Sedge
Crows - a Murder
Doves - a Dule, Arc, or Pitying
Ducks - a Raft, Paddling, or Badling
Eagles - a Convocation or Aerie
Emus - a Mob
Finches - a Charm
Flamingos - a Stand
Geese - a Gaggle or Skein
Grouse - a Pack
Hawks - a Cast, Kettle, or Boil
Herons - a Sedge or Siege
Jays - a Party or Scold
Lapwings - a Deceit
Larks - an Exaltation or Ascension 
Mallards - a Sord
Magpies - a Tiding or Gulp
Nightingales - a Watch
Owls - a Parliament
Parrots - a Company or Pandemonium
Partridges - a Covey
Peacocks - an Ostentation
Pheasants - a Nide, Nye, or Bouquet
Plovers - a Congregation
Quail - a Bevy
Rooks - a Building
Ravens - an Unkindness
Snipe - a Walk or Wisp
Sparrows - a Host
Starlings - a Murmuration
Storks - a Mustering
Swallows - a Flight
Swans - a Bevy or Wedge
Teal - a Spring
Turkeys - a Rafter
Widgeons - a Company
Woodcocks - a Fall
Woodpeckers - Descent
Apes - a Shrewdness
Asses - a Pace
Badgers - a Cete
Bears - a Sloth or Sleuth
Buffalo - an Obstinancy
Camels - a Caravan
Cats - a Clowder or Pounce
Cows - a Kine
Elephants - a Memory
Elk - a Gang
Ferrets - a Business
Foxes - a Leash or Skulk
Giraffes - a Tower
Goats -a Tribe
Hares - a Down or Husk
Hippopotamuses - a Bloat
Hyaenas - a Cackle
Kangaroos - a Troop
Leopards - a Leap
Martens - a Richness
Moles - a Labour
Monkeys - a Barrel
Mules - a Span or Barren
Otters - a Romp
Oxen - a Yoke
Pigs - a Drift, Drove, or Sounder
Polecats - a Chine
Porcupines - a Prickle
Possums - a Passel
Prairie Dogs - a Coterie
Rabbits - a Warren
Raccoons - a Gaze
Rhinoceroses - a Crash
Seals - a Pod
Squirrels - a Dray or Scurry
Tigers - a Streak or an Ambush
Whales - a Gam
Wolves - a Rout
Wombats - a Wisdom
Zebras - a Zeal
INVERTEBRATESFISH
Ants - a Colony
Bees - a Grist or Swarm
Butterflies - a Flutter
Caterpillars - an Army
Cockroaches - an Intrusion
Flies - a Business
Gnats - a Horde
Grasshoppers - a Cloud
Jellyfish - a Smack
Lice - a Flock
Locusts - a Plague
Spiders - a Clutter
Wasps - a Pladge
Barracuda - a Battery
Bass - a Shoal
Goldfish - a Cloud
Herring - an Army
Salmon - a Run
Sharks - a Shiver 
Trout - a Hover
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS 
Alligators - a Congregation
Crocodiles - a Bask or Float

Frogs - an Army
Lizards - a Lounge 
Toads - a Knot
Turtles - a Bale or Dole
Rattlesnakes - a Rhumba
 
 
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A group of ..me would classify as a Difficulty of Hellies.
My offspring says I'm not a difficulty, I'm a baffle. I kind of like that one. A baffle of Hellies.