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Re: Bambiraptor feinbergi
Jordan Mallon wrote:
>I keep thinking back to something Bakker said in the book "Hunting
Dinosaurs". I >don't have the book with me now, but I think I remember him
explaining that he likes >simple names just because they're easier to
remember. He used his "Drinker" and >"Opisthocoelicaudia" as an example.
I think this is part of the problem. While paleontologists do have to concern
themselves, to a degree, with educating laymen, a primary concern when
choosing a name for a new taxon should *not* be catchiness (regardless of
what Bakker has said). Animals, whether fossil or extant, are not products to
be marketed to consumers, and naming them is a matter of choosing generic
names that are both appropriate and useful to science, not names that will be
easy to remember (though I've never had any trouble with
And _Drinker_ (like _Othnielia_), while an unusual name, isn't comparable to
the situation with "Bambiraptor." On the one hand, you have a dinosaur named
for a paleontologist who contributed enormously to our understanding of
dinosaurs; on the other, you have a Disney character. _Drinker_ is
unorthodox, but isn't juvenile. I truly fear that names like "Bambiraptor,"
if their erection becomes commonplace, will serve to undermine some of the
dignity of taxonomy *and* vertebrate paleontology.
>Bambiraptor is quite a memorable name (as compared to
Again, it's not an issue of being memorable. One of these names, though it
may appear cumbersome, is useful, containing data about the animal in
question, while the other, aside from being ridiculous, is devoid of any
useful information about the animal. If we have a choice between "small
thick-skulled reptile" and "cartoon deer robber" (and I'll ignore for a
moment the somewhat detrimental mania over "-raptor"), I think it's a pretty
easy choice to make.
Caitlin R. Kiernan