Finding something that wasn’t lost: Tiniest Snake in Barbados
I was surprised and a bit taken aback to see this CNN article tonight: Scientist: World’s tiniest snake found in Barbados.
It wasn’t lost, dude. They call it a “poison lizard” there, and the locals have known about it for years. My husband is from Barbados, and we lived there for a number of years while I was working on the Wizardry series (it was the only time I was the game development industry for an entire country). People there know about this snake.
The scientist that “discovered” it has named his new discovery after his herpetologist wife, Carla Ann Hass. It shall henceforth be known everywhere but Barbados as “Leptotyphlops carlae”.
There’s a degree of arrogance about it all – swooping in and claiming to have discovered something that had been discovered long, long before. Adding to that, actually renaming it without any mention of its history on the island and with locals feels pompous to me.
There is a game to the scientific world, of course. He who scientifically names something first gets the prize. It just doesn’t feel fair, though.