Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Unique Holiday Gift - Immortality

From ABCNews.com...

Species Name Auction Offers Wild Holiday Gift Idea
A bat named just for you? Purdue auctions off naming rights to 9 newly discovered species

Searching for a truly original holiday gift, one that could bestow a bit of immortality on a loved one or a friend?

If so, Purdue University has the goods: The school is auctioning the naming rights to seven newly discovered bats and two turtles. Winning bidders will be able to link a relative, friend or themselves to an animal's scientific name for the ages.

The first of the nine auctions began Monday, when the school put up for grabs the naming rights to a tiny gold and black insect-munching bat found in Central America.

The winning bidder will be announced just before Christmas, said John Bickham, a Purdue professor of forestry and natural resources who discovered or co-discovered the nine species.

He expects the auctions to attract wide interest, with the chance to include a person's Latinized name in a new species' scientific name — a tradition that dates to the mid-18th century.

"Unlike naming a building or something like that, this is much more permanent. This will last as long as we have our society," he said Monday.
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