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RE: Names, professional courtesy, and more
>Perhaps we encourage the use of the informal specimen names people
>already use: "Sue," "Big Al," or whatever. I understand the hominid
>people do that. It allows very extensive discussion in the community
>without scooping anyone's right to name and describe.
In the above cases, these are specimens of already-known taxa, and it would
be more appropriate to use specimen numbers (e.g., Sue = FMNH PR2081).
One problem with using names like "Sue" is that it can lead to incorrect
assumptions. "Sue" is a female name, but we simply cannot tell whether
this was a female T. rex or not. It's an "it," not a "she." Hence, I would
rather see the practice of using "nicknames" avoided wherever possible.
Christopher A. Brochu
Department of Geoscience
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242