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Thread: 89 dinosaurs have "potentially offensive names"

  1. #1

    89 dinosaurs have "potentially offensive names"

    https://twitter.com/disclosetv/statu...06294067998784


    200 years of naming dinosaurs: scientists call for overhaul of antiquated system
    Some palaeontologists want more rigorous guidelines for naming species, along with action to address problematic historical practices.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00388-y
    [archive: https://archive.ph/qMBU3
    {Katharine Sanderson | 20 February 2024}

    It’s been 200 years since scientists named the first dinosaur: Megalosaurus. In the centuries since, hundreds of other dinosaur species have been discovered and catalogued — their names inspired by everything from their physical characteristics to the scientists who first described them. Now, some researchers are calling for the introduction of a more robust system, which they say would ensure species names are more inclusive and representative of where and how fossils are discovered.

    Megalosaurus was named by William Buckland, a minister and geologist who discovered the enormous reptile’s fossilized remains in a field in Stonesfield, UK, in 1824. Buckland chose the name Megalosaurus on account of the immense size of the bones he and others had excavated. “It was a sensation — the first gigantic extinct land reptile ever discovered,” says Paul Barrett, a palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. “Such an animal had never been conceived of before.” The word dinosaur — from the Greek meaning ‘fearfully great lizard’ — was introduced later, in 1841.

    Unlike in other scientific disciplines — such as chemistry, in which strict rules govern a molecule’s name — zoologists have a relatively free reign over the naming of new species. Usually, the scientist or group that first publishes work about an organism gets to pick its name, with few restrictions. There is a set of guidelines for species naming overseen by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). These include the requirements that the name is unique, that it is announced in a publication and that, for dinosaurs, it is linked to a single specimen.

    Problematic names

    To explore how dinosaur naming has changed over the past 200 years, Emma Dunne, a palaeobiologist at Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen–Nuremberg, Germany, and her colleagues analysed the names of all of the dinosaur fossils from the Mesozoic Era (251.9 million to 66 million years ago) that have been described, around 1,500 in total.

    The authors wanted to know how much effort it would take to address what they saw as problematic names, which they describe as those “emanating racism, sexism, named under (neo)colonial contexts or after controversial figures”. They found 89 potentially offensive names, equating to less than 3% of the dinosaurs they looked at. (One widely cited example of an ‘offensive’ species name — outside palaeontology — belongs to a beetle named after Adolf Hitler.)

    Some of the names the team identified derive from the colonial names for lands where species have been discovered. Indigenous-language names of places or researchers are often not used or are mistranslated, the authors say.

    For example, many of the dinosaurs discovered during a series of expeditions between 1908 and 1920 by German explorers in Tendaguru in Tanzania, which was then part of German East Africa, were named after German people rather than local expedition members, and the samples remain in Germany.

    “The problem in terms of numbers is really insignificant. But it is significant in terms of importance,” says Evangelos Vlachos, a co-author of Dunne’s paper and a palaeontologist at the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio in Trelew, Chubut, Argentina. He wants future naming systems to be more rigorous. “We don’t say that tomorrow we need to change everything. But we need to critically revise what we have done, see what we have done well and what we have not done well, and try to correct it in the future.”

    The use of eponyms — naming a species after a person or people — has become much more common in recent years, with 55% of names that are eponyms having been given in the past 20 years, the authors say. They found that in instances in which a species has a gendered name ending, 87% were masculine. They recommend reverting to descriptive names, such as Stegosaurus (from ‘roof lizard’ in Greek, referring to the animal’s plate-like spines) or Triceratops (‘three-horned-face’). This also adds to the usefulness of the name for communication, they say.

    The team’s analysis has not yet been published or peer-reviewed.

    No name changes

    The ICZN is firmly against going back and renaming species whose names might now be considered offensive, and would not consider banning eponyms, says ICZN president Thomas Pape, a taxonomist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. “We do not recommend renaming unless there are what we would call formal nomenclatural reasons,” he adds. This is because the organization places great importance on preserving the ‘stability’ of names, and this could be threatened if they are changed retrospectively, he says.

    The ICZN would consider introducing different naming systems, Pape says, perhaps including repositories for names to be peer-reviewed, or insisting that names can be considered official only if they are first published in a certain set of journals. But no formal changes are currently planned.

    Meanwhile, Barrett says, some palaeontologists are trying to drive change within the community. “There’s been a marked change in the desire to credit formerly overlooked figures when naming new dinosaurs and to ensure that issues of patrimony are faced and accounted for,” he says. He adds that Indigenous collaborators and colleagues are more often recognized, “whereas previously most eponyms reflected the roles of scientists in the global north”. Many researchers also try to use names derived from the languages, interests and traditions in countries where dinosaur remains are discovered, helping to foster community engagement and to reflect the historical context of the material.

    Dunne says that although she would like to see change, she doesn’t want to add further unpaid work to the burdens facing academics. “But there does need to be something,” she says, adding that the ICZN “could do better and be more representative of the community”.
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  3. #2
    What do you call a lesbian dinosaur?




    Lickalotapus.

    My contribution to more “inclusive” dinosaur names.
    Chris

    "Government ... does not exist of necessity, but rather by virtue of a tragic, almost comical combination of klutzy, opportunistic terrorism against sitting ducks whom it pretends to shelter, plus our childish phobia of responsibility, praying to be exempted from the hard reality of life on life's terms." Wolf DeVoon

    "...Make America Great Again. I'm interested in making American FREE again. Then the greatness will come automatically."Ron Paul

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by CCTelander View Post
    What do you call a lesbian dinosaur?




    Lickalotapus.

    My contribution to more “inclusive” dinosaur names.
    What do you call a gay dinosaur?

    Megasoreass.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    What do you call a gay dinosaur?

    Megasoreass.
    ROTFL!

    Touche!
    Chris

    "Government ... does not exist of necessity, but rather by virtue of a tragic, almost comical combination of klutzy, opportunistic terrorism against sitting ducks whom it pretends to shelter, plus our childish phobia of responsibility, praying to be exempted from the hard reality of life on life's terms." Wolf DeVoon

    "...Make America Great Again. I'm interested in making American FREE again. Then the greatness will come automatically."Ron Paul

  6. #5
    No doubt this study was funded with taxpayer money.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Pharma-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul

    Proponent of real science.
    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  7. #6
    I really don't think the dinosaurs care what you call them.

  8. #7
    I don't have the photoshop skills, but needs to be updated to "So what if humans dig up our bones, what could possibly go wrong?"

    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28



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