Scientific names

To: "Steve Sheers" <>, "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Scientific names
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 12:51:30 +1100
Note here that you used the common English or vernacular name to track down those different scientific names for the same species. So in this case the vernacular name was more helpful than the Latin or scientific name. I suggest that this is usually the case. Vernacular names are far for stable than scientific names and a more useful tool when tracking historical records. That is particularly so in this day and age where DNA is being used to define new species but it is not a new phenomena. That observation was made by one of the major seabird researchers early last century. I thought that it was Robert Cushman Murphy in his two volume tome 'Oceanic Birds of South America' published in 1936 but in a brief search just now I didn't find it so I could be wrong with that citation.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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