Saturday, November 01, 2008

Name a Species for yourself

Or for anyone or anything else you like. For as little as $650, for example, you can affix the name of your choice permanently and officially to a new species of midge. Funds go partly to the researcher who discovered the species and part to the World Wildlife Fund (a.k.a World Wide Fund for Nature). The organization behind this plan, Name a Species LLC, reserves the right to reject "inappropriate" names.

COMMENT: Not a bad idea at all. There are millions of insects, for example, awaiting discovery and naming, and it's a clever way to fund research and conservation. It can also be used for one-upmanship, as has already happened among scientists: ichthyologist John McCosker wrote that impish colleagues have given the specific name mccoskeri to notably unhandsome species like slime eels.

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