December 8, 2008

Animal naming rights a unique Xmas gift

Just in time for the holidays, researchers at Indiana's Purdue University say they are auctioning off the naming rights for nine animal species.

Purdue University forestry and natural resources professor John Bickham said the auction offerings starting Monday would give true wildlife supporters the chance to become a part of the world of science, The Chicago Tribune said.

There's not very much money to support the kind of work it takes to discover these new species, Bickham said. Money generated by someone who says, 'I'm passionate about the environment, and I'd love to go down in history by having a species of organism named after me,' that's very important to our continued work.

Two Amazonian turtle species and seven bat species are among the animals whose names are up for auction, the Tribune said.

The newspaper said more than $2 million was raised in Indonesia through a similar fish-naming auction while the Wildlife Conservation Society accepted $650,000 in 2005 to sell a Bolivian monkey's naming rights to an online gambling Web site.