NEW YORK – An infinite number of newly discovered monkeys trying to name themselves could have pounded on their keyboards a long time before coming up with this one: GoldenPalace.com (search).
The Internet casino paid $650,000 for the right to name the foot-high primate, online auction house CharityFolks.com (search) announced Wednesday. GoldenPalace.com won a March 3 online auction that raised money to help manage Madidi National Park in Bolivia, where the species of titi monkey was discovered by a Wildlife Conservation Society scientist last year.
A statement from GoldenPalace.com CEO Richard Rowe (search) suggested the company was looking for a publicity-generating investment more enduring than an item it paid $28,000 for in another online auction last year: a 10-year-old, partly eaten cheese sandwich thought to contain the image of the Virgin Mary.
"This species will bear our name for as long as it exists," Rowe said. "Hundreds, even thousands of years from now, the GoldenPalace.com Monkey will live to carry our name through the ages."
The GoldenPalace.com monkey, one of about 30 species of titi monkeys found in South America, has a golden crown and a white-tipped tail. Its formal name will be Callicebus aureipalatii — Latin for "golden palace."
Scientific staff at the Wildlife Conservation Society believe the new name will comply with the rules of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, according to Alison Power, a spokeswoman for the society.
She said the name would be included in a publication about the species in a scientific journal within the next few months.
The monkey name and the cheese sandwich aren't the only oddities in GoldenPalace.com's stable.
In December, the company bought a metal walking cane that once belonged to a 6-year-old boy's grandfather for $65,000. The boy's mother auctioned off the cane to ease her son's fears that his grandfather's ghost was haunting their home.