The Art of Naming

9780262537032

The Art of Naming

  • ISBN 13:

    9780262537032

  • ISBN 10:

    0262537036

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 02/26/2019
  • Publisher: The MIT Press
Sorry, this item is currently unavailable.

List Price $16.95 Save $0.59

New $16.36

Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days

We Buy This Book Back We Buy This Book Back!

Included with your book

Free Shipping On Every Order Free Shipping On Every Order

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Extend or Purchase Your Rental at Any Time

Need to keep your rental past your due date? At any time before your due date you can extend or purchase your rental through your account.

Summary

From Tyrannosaurus rex to Heteropoda davidbowie: scientific naming as a joyful and creative act.

Tyrannosaurus rex. Homo sapiens. Heteropoda davidbowie. Behind each act of scientific naming is a story. In this entertaining and illuminating book, Michael Ohl considers scientific naming as a joyful and creative act. There are about 1.8 million discovered and named plant and animal species, and millions more still to be discovered. Naming is the necessary next step after discovery; it is through the naming of species that we perceive and understand nature. Ohl explains the process, with examples, anecdotes, and a wildly varied cast of characters. He describes the rules for scientific naming; the vernacular isn't adequate. These rules—in standard binomial nomenclature, the generic name followed by specific name—go back to Linnaeus; but they are open to idiosyncrasy and individual expression. A lizard is designated Barbaturex morrisoni (in honor of the Doors' Jim Morrison, the Lizard King); a member of the horsefly family Scaptia beyonceae. Ohl, a specialist in “winged things that sting,” confesses that among the many wasp species he has named is Ampulex dementor, after the dementors in the Harry Potter novels. Scientific names have also been deployed by scientists to insult other scientists, to make political statements, and as expressions of romantic love: “I shall name this beetle after my beloved wife.”

The Art of Naming takes us on a surprising and fascinating journey, in the footsteps of the discoverers of species and the authors of names, into the nooks and crannies and drawers and cabinets of museums, and through the natural world of named and not-yet-named species.

Author Biography

Read more