Naming your fictional species

How very strange. I was doing a routine Google lookup for “Taung” tonight, and I discovered that the top hit has nothing to do with the Taung fossil specimen or site at all. No, it’s from Wookiepedia, the Star Wars wiki. It seems that some author within the Star Wars fantasy universe created a race of creatures called the “Taungs”:

The Taungs, later known as the Mandalorians,[1] were a warlike Near-Human species that dominated the planet Coruscant thousands of years before the rise of Humans.

I hadn’t really thought about the obvious possibility that the names of paleontological sites often fulfill the desiderata of science fiction names – vaguely foreign-sounding, associated with a definite historical connotation.