The strange ways we name new species and the politics involved is explained in Stephen Heard’s book Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider
20 May 2020
Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider
UNLIKE plastic dinosaurs, new species don’t arrive with names on their bellies. Assigning them a name, however, isn’t as easy as it might seem.
In Stephen Heard’s splendid new book, which is beautifully illustrated by Emily Damstra, he explains not only how species are named, but why some have odder names than others. Reasons people choose names can vary from seeking to honour a respected colleague, thank a patron, celebrate a loved one or, in some cases, mourn their death.
Metellina merianae, a spider, is one …