funny names

John Bruner jbruner at UALBERTA.CA
Fri Feb 20 14:04:43 CST 2004

On Fri, 20 Feb 2004, Richard Petit wrote:
> ...
> One of my favorites in Mollusca is the "trivalved" freshwater mollusk that
> Audubon invented and described to the idiot Rafinesque who drew it and named
> it.  He later reprinted his figure and named it again so that this imaginary
> creature has two generic and two specific names.
> ...

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz (1783-1840) was no idiot.  He
accomplished a great deal considering he never had an adequate library at
his disposal.  It is not his fault that he was duped by the evil Audubon
into believing the paintings of fake fish et ali sent to him were real.
Rafinesque smashed Audubon's violin when he threw it at a bat he was
trying to collect in their cabin. To pay him back, the devious Audubon
painted about a dozen imaginary fish that Rafinesque included descriptions
of in his book Fishes of Ohio (1820). Rafinesque was ruined and died
penniless in a Philadelphia attic because he had trusted Audubon.

* Mr. John C. Bruner                                 *
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