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Monkey Naming Rights

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Sure, you can give ten or fifteen big ones and get a stadium or hospital wing named after you, but hey, art is long and life is short and before you know it, you’re dust and so is the structure that had your name on it.

But a species — a species, like a diamond, is forever.

Recently discovered in the Bolivian rainforest are the monkeys pictured above, a variety of titi monkey of the genus Callicebus, first spotted in 2000 in Madidi National Park.

Observations made since then have convinced the discoverers — Dr. Robert Wallace of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Humberto Gomez, a Bolivian biologist, and two Conservation Society volunteers, Annika and Adam Felton — that the monkey is a new species.

Their paper describing the animal has been accepted by taxonomic authorities.

Ordinarily, the person who discovers a species has the right to name it.

Dr. Wallace and the discoverers decided instead to seek a benefactor who, in exchange for a chance to have immortality conferred on her or him, would both raise interest in the Madidi park and furnish funds to help manage it.

Thus, an online auction, to begin this Thursday, February 24, will offer naming rights to the furry creature.

Bid early and often!

[via Henry Fountain and the New York Times]
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  • RJ

    I see no monkeys…

  • HW Saxton

    This has nothing to do with naming these
    new found critters but… When I was in
    grade school I thought Rhesus Monkeys
    were actually called “Recess Monkeys”.

  • RJ


    And all along I thought it had something to do with Rh factors in blood transfusions… ;-P