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Naming rare extant dinosaurs (Re: Not dinosaurs, but damn cool!)




On Sat, 01 Oct 2005 15:29:27 -0500 "Sticht, Aaron"
<Aaron.Sticht@frontiercorp.com> writes:

> It might be helpful 
> to remember that scientific study of wildlife in the United States 
> centered around adding taxidermy mounts to many of the top 
> scientific institutions such as the Field and the American Museum 
> and the Smithsonian at one time as well, thankfully scientists in 
> this country have decided that killing an animal to have it in your 
> collection is not necessary.


Dragging this thread over to flying dinosaurs.....

If I understand the current rules correctly, in order to name a new
species of extant bird, a type specimen must be accessioned into the
museum's collection.

Unless the specimen was found already dead, then this presents field
ornithologists with a major ethical issue.  If the new bird species is
extremely rare, then killing one in order to name it (hopefully leading
to the preservation of the remainder of its population) isn't exactly
helping the situation.

What if a few diagnostic feathers were plucked from a live animal which
then is released back into its habitat.  Would diagnostic feathers
constitute valid holotypic material?

I'll complicate things a bit further.  What if it is *known* that the
potential new species is on the brink of extinction.  And what if nearly
every part of that bird's anatomy is apomorphic.  How does one
"officially" alert the scientific community to this animal's existence?

<pb>
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