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Re: Lizard of Oz

> You know, this idea of using frivolity in the designation of organisms,dead
> or alive, is terrifically distasteful.  Whenever an organism is named, the
> name should reflect something about the organism itself.  I particularly do
> not like the naming of things for either their discoverers or their
> discoverer's major prof and I do not even think that using place of
> discovery names is appropriate.  For dinos and forms that we can only
> know from a few fossils, place names only indicate where the thing was
> found originally and that may have been outside the normal range even
> for the time in which the critter was alive.  Worst of all are such inanities
> as, what is it?, Ozraptor.  Or the frivolousness of "Heerz lukinatcha" and
> the like.
> Utahraptor is one with which I have particular problems. What is at all
> descriptive about this name?  What does it conjure up in the imagination
> about the creature itself?  Did it live in a desert (Utah usually brings to
> mind Southern Utah which is mostly desert)?  Did it live in the mountains
> (Northern Utah)?  Did it have divergent religious beliefs (no explanation
> needed for that one)?
> When Utahraptor was alive, Utah was not like it is now and yet the name
> brings forth the image.  I think it should be avoided in favour of something
> structural about the creature and, preferably, diagnostic.
> Wiwaxia
With reference to the naming conventions, I believe that names could and
should be almost anything.  Of course there should be a scientific
classification, but a common name for some of these beasts would be a
lot easier for most people to reference.  Just my two cents.

Paul Franklin