STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists have a new plant in a small region in Baja California, Mexico, in Punta Colonet recently, and they named after Jimi Hendrix. Mark Dodero, a biologist, explained that he was listening to Jimi Hendrix when he found this amazing pink and succulent plant which was never before described. The plant grows to approximately one foot high, and it is a summer deciduous.
When researchers had discovered it, they thought about naming it Dudleya hendrixii which translates into “Hendrix’s live forever.” The study about this plant was first published back in October in the Madrono magazine. Scientists believed that nomenclature is just another opportunity to honor amazing artists who had an impact on our lives and whom we will always remember.
Another example illustrates the case of a Caribbean crustacean scientifically called Gnathia marleyi, being inspired by Bob Marley. Apparently, many other species were named after celebrities, like Bill Gates of Beyonce.
What is more, the idea of naming species after celebrities was first implemented back in 1750 by Carl Linnaeus who developed a modern taxonomy. Based on a legend, this Swedish botanist has called dayflowers after the Commelyns, resulting in Commelinaceae.
The name was chosen based on the fact that the plant has two petals facing upward and a small leaf below, thus perfectly fitting the Commelyn brothers. Two of them brought a significant contribution to science, while the third one contributed too little.
Apparently, there is also another side of this celebrity nomenclature. This may suggest a PR move meant to be conservation-minded. Just like politics, conservation represents a game of public entreaty. This is very tricky since we know that there are many endangered species which need to be protected, but environmental activists would only choose to save and focus on the commercial ones.
That is a very dangerous strategy, jeopardizing the welfare of so many species. A study from 2008 which was published in the Biodiversity and Conservation magazine has proved that the cover of that magazine which talk about US conservation and nature used to feature mainly bird and large mammals in the detriment of invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles. For example, a new species of beetle would never receive the same response from scientists.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia