Friday, September 26, 2008

All hail the blog monkey?

Colourful biologist Marc van Roosmalen is generating more headlines this week after he announced plans to name a monkey after the wonderful world of blogs.

No longer will the term ‘blog monkey’ be something my editors can hurl at me in the morning when they want coffee. Instead it will belong to Lagothrix blogii, if van Roosmalen gets his way.

Van Roosmalen hit the news in a big way last year when he was imprisoned by the Brazilian government for taking four monkeys from the rainforest without the correct permits (see this Nature story from August 2007). He was later released on appeal and since found the time to claim the discovery of a giant peccary (see this blog from November 2007). He says there have been two attempts on his life since then.

Now the blog monkey project has started up in the hope of raising enough money to get him back to work. Some of van Roosmalen’s methods of naming species have been slightly outside regular scientific practice, so it’s not clear whether Lagothrix blogii would be accepted by the world at large as the name of what he says is a new species of woolly monkey...


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