Code names

Assigning code names to bird species sounds like a good idea. Code names are a sort of short hand that can save space in field and lab notebooks, and facilitate using computers to analyze data.

To be helpful, codes names should be easy to remember and unique for each species being considered. For example, a field researcher working in North America doesn’t need distinct codes for penguins. But a lab researcher in North America might need distinct codes for penguins.

Of course, there is more than one way to assign a code name for a bird species. Here are some of the code names that have been assigned to the California condor.

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Misspelled scientific names

Correctly spelling scientific names has never been easy. The words and their forms are unfamiliar to most people. Today’s word processors are no help; their spell checkers could hardly be expected to include the scientific names of even common species.

So misspelled scientific names are inevitable. These misspellings can be a problem for anyone doing computerized searches for a particular scientific name. But, for the most part, misspellings are a curiosity and a source of momentary delight for readers.

The California condor has been assigned a number of scientific names through the years. In this post, I note some examples of how those names have been misspelled (and do so with trepidation as I have and will surely continue to misspell names).

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