Posts Tagged 'Dire Straits'

Long dead musicians

Following on from yesterday’s guest post, I thought it timely to remember a few other musicians who are honoured in palaeontology. It’s really quite common in taxonomy for famous people to have things named after them and especially in some fields when single workers are often near drowned in alpha taxonomy and can run out of names.

I did some of my taxonomic training under someone who worked on parasitoid wasps and these things are enormously diverse. But with only a handful of people worldwide working on them, it wasn’t uncommon for my tutor to name several *dozen* species a year. When it’s happening at that rate, names don’t mean as much as they do to say a palaeontologist who can only do one or two a year or a modern mammologist who might only manage a couple in their whole career.

In addition to Qiliania graffini the most obvious example would be the dinosaur Masiakasaurus knopfleri named for Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. Trilobites I know cover the Beatles in some detail (even Pete best gets one!) and there are ones for the Grateful Dead and Mick Jagger too. After that I’m running out fast I admit, but I’m sure there are others I don’t know about.


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