Comment on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea) (Reptilia, Testudines) 6

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:Grunewald, F
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:67
Issue:2
Start Page:177
Pagination:177-178
Date Published:06/2010
Type of Article:Comment
ISSN:0007-5167
Full Text

With awe I have read the whole of Case 3463. I am quite shocked to see how this casehas developed into a schoolyard brawl. Especially the interference of people whodon’t normally work with the Aldabran Giant tortoise is quite disturbing. Also thefact that scientists let themselves be driven by personal emotion without a scientificreason upsets me. Yet, because this has happened I feel obliged to give my point ofview as well. I consider myself just a hobbyist/layperson. Yet I have read the Code.I have also read the works of both Bour and Frazier. Using the Code, one can cometo only one conclusion and that is that Bour’s argument is the correct one. I am awarethat outside Europe many people continue to use the name Aldabrachelys orGeochelone gigantea. I believe this is due to a lack of information about the articlesof Bour. Yet, on the European continent, the name Dipsochelys dussumieri isprobably the most used name for the Aldabran Giant Tortoise. The editors ofTRIONYX for example have been using this name since 2003 instead of gigantea.The articles of Bour are favourites among European turtle keepers and interesting asthey show that Bour does his research very thoroughly, diving into the past of manyspecies of turtles, unearthing their true history.Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 67(2) June 2010 177Objections of conservationists worldwide that changing the name to Dipsochelysdussumieri would interfere with their work and conservation of this tortoise are in myopinion unfounded. Names can be changed in documents virtually overnight. Moreimportantly, the world’s leading conservationist in the field of the Aldabran Gianttortoise, Justin Gerlach, has been using the name Dipsochelys dussumieri for a decadenow. His 2004 book has become somewhat of an icon as well.I personally saw and measured the type of Dipsochelys dussumieri, RMNH 3231,in the Leiden Museum. There is no doubt about its identity. It looks like a perfectjuvenile of the Aldabran Giant tortoise. I too believe that its name, based on the rulesof the Code, should be Dipsochelys dussumieri. I recommend that the Commissionrejects Frazier’s proposal. This case has already gone way too far.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith