In the world of taxonomy, names are very important. This interesting and slightly humorous information came to our attention from the Ottawa Citizen in their article, “‘These British hosers’: Name ‘vandals’ accused of giving taxonomy a bad name.”

Due to some vandalism, biologists are up in arms about the redundancy in species names. Considering the rate that individual biologists are churning out new names for plants and animals, often inventing new names for well-known species or even for an entire group of related species, you would think this wouldn’t be that uncommon. The field of taxonomy – the classification of things – is not normally considered one filled with drama. However, it has created an upheaval and a few egos have been offended. A few terse warnings have also been given to those “rogue” scientists who are naming their species and botanicals with reckless abandonment and no regard for tradition, process or history.

Melody K. Smith

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