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Resolved: Biologists have got to start giving newly discovered species appropriate descriptive names Options
rmberwin
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:30:24 PM

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There's been a trend for biologists to name species after their girlfriends, favorite songs, etc. A species was recently named after a Dungeons and Dragons character (although there was a marginal claim of justification). A species' name is supposed to be descriptive in terms of the organism's form, habits, etc.

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Romany
Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 8:24:44 AM
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OK, so I'm not a biologist - have only studied it. I personally don't think that the actual 'name' of the kind of animal that is being classified IS terribly important. Its the classification of that organism that describes it. Don't know if you were given the same mnemonic as we were (Kevin Plays Clarinet Or Flute - Grotty Sound!?) but I would have thought that if one comes across a new entity and classifies it according to Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family,Genus, and Species, the nomenclature wouldn't matter too much?

What I mean is that if one named this new entity 'Chelsea' or some long Classical name, its classification is what actually 'describes' it?

But hey, as I said, I'm not a biologist.
rmberwin
Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 7:54:35 PM

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Romany wrote:

OK, so I'm not a biologist - have only studied it. I personally don't think that the actual 'name' of the kind of animal that is being classified IS terribly important. Its the classification of that organism that describes it. Don't know if you were given the same mnemonic as we were (Kevin Plays Clarinet Or Flute - Grotty Sound!?) but I would have thought that if one comes across a new entity and classifies it according to Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family,Genus, and Species, the nomenclature wouldn't matter too much?

What I mean is that if one named this new entity 'Chelsea' or some long Classical name, its classification is what actually 'describes' it?

But hey, as I said, I'm not a biologist.


The problem is not really with genus and higher-up classifications, but with the specific name, which should give some relevant information. E.g., 'Canis domesticus' means "dog that lives in house". But what if 'Canis honeyboo'? That's my point.

"Great art should never be mushed up!!"
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:20:14 AM

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It comes down to the sheer number of new names that biologists, or palaeontologists of we look at fossilised life forms have to come up with and try remember.
Sometimes a certain genus might have hundreds of members in it all distinguished by slight variations in morphology and habit and once you have gone through that the common ways of naming them then they get a little more creative .


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Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:51:43 AM

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Wunderpus photogenicus (no common name given yet)




Spiny lumpsucker




Satanic leaf-tailed gecko




Tasseled wobbegong




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Kunstniete
Posted: Friday, March 3, 2017 2:12:23 AM

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There is also a trend to name new species after famous persons.
http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-metaphorical-meaning-of-a-moth-named-after-trump

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almo 1
Posted: Friday, March 3, 2017 5:34:10 AM
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