Saturday, June 09, 2007

An honor for a cryptozoologist

Cryptozoologists, those who pursue the uncaught, unclassified, or presumably extinct animals of the world, run the gamut from amateur enthusiasts to Ph.D scientists. One of the latter is England's Dr. Karl Shuker. He has posted a letter announcing the receipt of an unusual sort of recognition: seeing his name attached to a tiny creature that looks a bit like a pineapple with a snout. Congratulations, Karl!

Hi everyone,

As readers of my books The Lost Ark (1993) and its successor The New Zoo (2002) may recall, loriciferan discoverer Prof. Reinhardt Kristensen (the loriciferans were the first of two entirely new phyla of animals revealed by him!) very kindly promised to name a new species of loriciferan after me - there were several new species that were still awaiting formal names and descriptions.

I was recently asked by a correspondent whether 'my' loriciferan had ever been named and described, and I was happy to confirm that it had. It is Pliciloricus shukeri, and in case anyone wishes to read about it the bibliographical reference to the paper in which its description appears is as follows:

Heiner, Iben, and Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen. 2005. Two new species of the genus Pliciloricus (Loricifera, Pliciloricidae) from the Faroe Bank, North Atlantic. Zoologischer Anzeiger, vol. 243, no. 3. 121-138.

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