Message 2001-06-0039: Re: Subscribers

Tue, 01 May 2001 16:12:22 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 16:12:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: "T. Mike Keesey" <>
Subject: Re: Subscribers

On Tue, 1 May 2001 wrote:

>      I believe that we need to decrease the numbers of "formal" taxa, not
> increase them.  That is why I only recognized the basic higher ranks (kingdom,
> phylum, class, order, family) with endings that render them more distinctive.

Ken, you're rather a generalist, someone who has tried to attain a broad
knowledge of taxonomy, and succeeded fairly well. Of *course* you're not
going to want more taxa to be named -- how are you possibly going to keep
up with everything?

But to a specialist, having sufficient "space" to work in is critical.
Even you should appreciate that we cannot discuss, e.g., avian origins if
we only have Ordo Saurischia and Familia Dromaeosauridae. We need
_Theropoda_, _Neotheropoda_, _Tetanurae_, _Neotetanurae/Avetheropoda_,
_Coelurosauria_, _Maniraptoriformes_, _Maniraptora_, _Paraves_, and
_Eumaniraptora_ as well.

>      When the traditional codes got into the business of formal intermediate
> taxa, it opened a Pandora's box, and PhyloCode will only exacerbate the
> problem of too many "formal" names.  A less formal system of coding, informal
> taxon names, and/or cladograms makes more sense to me for showing the proposed
> relationships.

Hopefully the goal is to make rigid and universal the usage of these
currently "wishy-washy" higher taxa. Of course, I'm not sure that there
have been many steps taken to assure that excessive taxa are not named.

>      Lophotrochozoa is a perfect example of a group which should NOT be
> formally recognized.  It is almost certainly a broadly paraphyletic group that
> gave rise to the holophyletic Ecdysozoa grouping of phyla.  They are simply
> non-ecdysozoan bilateria, and the notion that they are the sister group to
> ecdysozoans is going to be very difficult to dispel.

If it's equivalent to _Bilateralia_, then it can be dismissed as a
heterodefintional synonym. How is it cladistically defined?

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