[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: lay person

On Fri, 5 Sep 1997 01:29:27 -0400 (EDT) JH6669@aol.com writes:
>In a message dated 97-09-04 22:40:18 EDT, you write:
> We can see all these animals.  Just that we use a microscope to do 
>  >>
>very funny.  i think you know what i meant.  instead of making these 
>"funny" comments, why not answer the question?  i'll get specific for 
>give me a list of mammals that do not have common names.  
>i've gone through this with one other person.  instead of being
>condescending, why not try to explain why i'm wrong?

I was only trying to be humorous, not condescending.  

There are about 1000 different species of bats worldwide.  I'll just bet
one or two of those species don't have a common name.  I'm afraid I do
not have the time to search out a list of _all_ the mammals that do not
have common names, nor all the insects, nematodes, fungi, and other
organisms that do not have common names because they are newly
discovered, tiny, obscure, nocturnal, yet unpublished, and all the other
reasons already cited by myself and Tom Holtz.  If you regularly read
_Science News_, _Science_, or _Nature_, there are plenty of examples in
the pages of those publications of the organisms to which I, and others
on this list, have been referring to.

You are not experienced enough with the totality of the biological world
to realize the truly humbling numbers of creatures we know, *and* those
yet to be named and discovered.  An example: deep sea floor areas and
undersea vents alone are harboring communities of animals that are just
now being cataloged in their entirety, and the number of new species are
astounding.  The same goes for tropical rain forest areas.

That's the problem with all the discussions about endangered species.  We
do not have a definitive inventory of all the species of plants, animals,
fungi, and microbes, etc, on the planet.  We don't know what we have, and
we don't know what we've lost before we've gotten a chance to describe
it.  In insects alone, many have not had their life cycles completely
worked out yet.  That is how I know that there are animals out there
without common names, because humans couldn't possibly have had contact
with *all* of them.  

Judy Molnar
Education Associate, Virginia Living Museum
All questions are valid; all answers are tentative.