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Not so many individual, non-human animals have been immortalized in place names. Often those were about animals known only as remains, as in Dead Horse Glen, but some living animals, named or unnamed, have become toponyms:

  • Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England (named for Bevis of Hampton's warhorse)
  • Barnabe Mountain, Marin County, California (named for Samuel P. Taylor's pet mule)
  • Bucephala, Pakistan (named for Alexander the Great's horse)
  • Grizzly Mountain, Trinity County, California (named for a charging bear)
  • Jackass Flat, Shasta County, California (named for a jackass run over by a train)
  • Rancho Bolsa Nueva y Moro Cojo, California (named for a lame, dark horse)
  • Sam's Neck, Siskiyou County, California (named for a white stallion)
  • Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina (named for a marauding jaguar)

Which historical animal's name was applied to the largest place? Is there anything bigger than a mountain or a city that was named for an individual animal?

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    Not an animal (and I guess not an individual), but worth noting that Brazil is named for the brazilwood tree, pau-brasil in Portuguese, making it possibly the largest place named for a living thing. – Schwern Jan 30 '18 at 19:23
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    @Schwern Amerigo Vespucci was a "living thing" ;-) – Gort the Robot Jan 30 '18 at 21:08
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    This probably needs to be confined to places on Earth. Otherwise we'll need to ask astronomers if Ursa Major is the largest in volume as it is in area. – Gort the Robot Jan 30 '18 at 21:10
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    @StevenBurnap I'm way ahead of you. I've been looking to see if there are any astronomical objects based on non-mythological animals. So far I haven't found any. Though objects on Kerberos are to be named after "Dogs from literature, mythology and history." I haven't found any yet, we don't have good imagery, but look for a Laika crater in the future. However, Kerberos is only about 10-20 km wide. – Schwern Jan 30 '18 at 21:35
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    @StevenBurnap: Ursa Major is a two dimensional image only - it has no volume, and it's spatial area only exists on the retina of observers' eyes (otherwise it's area would be proportional to the square of the radius of the heavenly sphere on which you reverse projected the image, which is arbitrary.) – Pieter Geerkens Jan 31 '18 at 5:49
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For the general animal group (and on earth), I'll put in Great Bear Lake. Area= 12,028 mi² (31,153 sq km ). It doesn't appear to be named after a specific bear however, so may not qualify.


Going over some lists of mountain ranges finds several named after animals: Owl Mountains, Musk Ox Mountains, Big Salmon Range, Camelsfoot Range, Cariboo Mountains, Elk River Mountains, Goat Range, Bear River Mountains, Beartooth Mountains,Beaverhead Mountains, ect. Its a long list, with many entries in the US and Canada. A couple that struck me as notable referenced camels, not native to North America, so those turned up to have at least some historical reference.

Camelsfoot Range. Found in British Columbia, the story here is from Wikipedia:

Camelsfoot Peak and the range itself take their name from an odd episode in the story of the Fraser and Cariboo Gold Rushes. Frank Laumeister, a United States veteran of the Camel Corps, bought 23 camels from the US military, which was ending their use. He used the animals to carry freight on the Douglas Road and the Old Cariboo Road from Lillooet to Fort Alexandria, and later on the new Cariboo Wagon Road from Yale. After this, he finally discontinued using the camels. Horses could not stand their smell, the camels' soft feet were hurt by the rocky soils of the BC Interior and the canyon trails, and handlers found them difficult. Many escaped retirement into the wilds.

Dead Camel Mountains. A very similar story related to these same US Army camels can be found associated with these mountains found in Nevada. From a rock hounding site, RareRocksAndGems.com:

In 1855, under the direction of then-Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, Congress appropriated $30,000 for "the purchase and importation of camels and dromedaries to be employed for military purposes." Davis believed that camels were key to the country's expansion westward; a transcontinental railroad was still decades away from being built, and he thought the animals could be well suited to haul supplies between remote military outposts. By 1857, after a pair of successful trips to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the U.S. Army had purchased and imported 75 camels. Within a decade, though, each and every one would be sold at auction.

An entrepreneur of the frontier named Samuel McLaughlin bought the entire herd in February 1864, then shipped several camels out to Nevada to haul salt and mining supplies in Virginia City. (McLaughlin raised money for the trip by organizing a camel race in Sacramento. A crowd of 1,000 people reportedly turned up to watch the spectacle.) According to Gray's account, the animals that remained in California were sold to zoos, circuses, and even back to Beale himself: "For years one might have seen Beale working camels about his ranch and making pleasure trips with them, accompanied by his family."

And as for the rest? Many were put to use in Nevada mining towns, the unluckiest were sold to butchers and meat markets, and some were driven to Arizona to aid with the construction of a transcontinental railroad. When that railroad opened, though, it quickly sunk any remaining prospects for camel-based freight in the southwest. Owners who didn't sell their herds to travelling entertainers or zoos reportedly turned them loose on the desert.

Feral camels did survive in the desert, although there almost certainly weren't enough living in the wild to support a thriving population. Sightings, while uncommon, were reported throughout the region up until the early 20th century. A young Douglas MacArthur, living in New Mexico in 1885, heard about a wild camel wandering near Fort Selden. A pair of camels were spotted south of the border in 1887. Estimates of "six to ten" actual sightings up to 1890 or so.

This source also states the actual source of the name:

The Dead Camel Mountains where named for the discovery of one of these Feral camels found by local prospectors in 1891.

This information is sourced as coming from the Churchill County Museum,in Nevada. So this mountain range in Nevada may qualify, as it is named after a specific individual 'dead camel' found in 1891. Size is tough to estimate on mountain ranges, but a site here estimates the Dead Camels to cover about 265 sq mi or 686 sq km.

  • The Dead Camel Mountains seem to have it. Great stuff. – Aaron Brick Aug 4 '18 at 5:16
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Ok, this is an answer to the literal question, not the spirit of the question:

The largest place named after an animal is the Tadpole Galaxy as it has a volume in the millions of cubic light years and appears to be the only named galaxy named after an animal.

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    If we're going that route, astronomical entities named after non-specific animals, at 130 Mpc by 60 Mpc the Leo (Lion) Supercluster wins. :) – Schwern Jan 30 '18 at 21:42
  • I stand corrected! – Gort the Robot Jan 30 '18 at 23:13
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    It's very large, but it's not named after a specific tadpole. – Aaron Brick Jan 31 '18 at 1:37
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HISTORICAL (NAMED) ANIMALS

Alexander the Great, in addition to naming numerous cities after himself, also named cities after his horse, Bucephalus, (example: Alexandria Bucephalous and Phalia), and one city after his dog, Peritas. This is also cited by John Kistler:

Just as Alexander’s horse Bucephalus would have cities names in his honor, so Peritas had one city named after him, with a monument in its central square.

Phalia had a population of 115,618 in 2011 and covers an area of 1,137 km². For Peritas and Alexandria Bucephalous we have little idea of their size: in fact, their locations can only be guessed at.

There is also Chetak Park, named after Rana Pratap's horse Chetak. The park is described as 'sprawling' but I'm not sure how big it is (quite possibly not as big as a city).

The American racehorse Man o' War has a golf course named after it which is "built around 80-acre lake", and there is also the 17-mile Man o' War Boulevard in Lexington, Kentucky.


SPECIFIC GROUP OF ANIMALS

Gran Canaria, meaning Island of Dogs (from Latin) has an area of 1,560 km2 and was apparently named after the dogs that inhabited the island.

According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained "vast multitudes of dogs of very large size"

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    Peritas and Chetak Park are contenders. – Aaron Brick Feb 1 '18 at 5:02
  • @Aaron Brick. Wish I could find out how big Chetak Park is though... – Lars Bosteen Feb 1 '18 at 5:40
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In 1822, 3 of the original townships of Simcoe County in Ontario were named after the pet dogs of Lady Sarah Maitland (1792–1873), wife of Sir Peregrine Maitland, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada: Tay, Tiny and Flos.

Township of Tay
2011 Land area: 139.07 km2 (53.70 sq mi)

Township of Tiny
2016 Land area: 336.83 km2 (130.05 sq mi)

Township of Springwater
2011 Land area: 536.23 km2 (207.04 sq mi) (In 1994, Flos Township was amalgamated with Vespra Township and a portion of the former Township of Medonte -- the area of Flos was larger than Tay)

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Not an animal (and I guess not an individual), but worth noting that Brazil is named for the brazilwood tree, pau-brasil in Portuguese, making it possibly the largest place on Earth named for a non-human living thing.

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Cape Cod

As the “largest” should be based on area I offer that this 340 square miles according to Siri.

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