Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 22nd, 2009
Surprise, surprise. Yet another way to keep the circus going.
If you thought media coverage of Ida, the 47m-year-old primate, was about to die down, then don’t hold your breath.
The scientists behind the discovery named the new species Darwinius masillae, in honour of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. But it seems they may have been too hasty.
The species name is not valid thanks to a fabulous clash between the bureaucratic world of taxonomy and the newfangled phenomenon that is open source online publishing.
According to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature – and let’s face it, they should know – species names must be published in print before they are formally allocated. The Ida paper was published in an online journal run by the Public Library of Science.
The commission is evidently in the process of hauling its regulations into the 21st century, but for now, the old rules stand.
We can’t leave the poor fossilised scrap with an uncertain scientific name, so I feel obliged to come up with an interim solution until the Latin name has been confirmed. How about Maximus iocus? Or should that be Iocus maximus?
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.