Behavioral Primatology: Advances in Research and Theory - Vol. 1

Behavioral Primatology: Advances in Research and Theory - Vol. 1

Behavioral Primatology: Advances in Research and Theory - Vol. 1

Behavioral Primatology: Advances in Research and Theory - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The only satisfactory means of identifying a monkey or ape used in experiments is by its taxonomic species name, i.e., its scientific, Latin, or Linnaean binomen. In some instances, the common name has seemed more stable, leading laboratory workers to disregard the taxonomic designations. But such stability is often illusory: because common names pass mostly by word-of-mouth, their meanings and synonymy are rarely defined precisely, and new meanings easily become attached through simple misunderstandings. In contrast, scientific names change only according to established rules, and their relationships to previous names must be recorded.

Above all, the description of experimental animals only as "monkeys," with no indication of genus or species, is indefensible. The use of such a general term can be justified with dogs, cats, or guinea pigs, but the correct identification of a monkey can be very important. For example, malaria research was retarded at a critical time during World War II by the mistaken designation of the monkey in which Plasmodium knowlesi, similar to the human parasite P. malariae, was first observed. The increasing use of automated citation retrieval systems that can be . . .

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