Message 2001-06-0044: subscribers

Tue, 01 May 2001 17:44:45 -0600 (MDT)

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Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 17:44:45 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: subscribers

      I'm sorry if David (Hillis) felt insulted, but I certainly never sa=
id we
should be "unconcerned" about intermediate taxa (on the contrary, I spend=
of my time on them).  What I am saying is that there no need to give them=

formal names.
      I see no great need for formal taxa Theropoda, Coelurosauria,
Maniraptora, etc., when informal names (theropods, coelurosaurs, manirapt=
etc.) suffice.  If Lophotrochozoa is a synonym of Bilateralia, as I belie=
ve it
is, I certainly hope Bilateralia was cladistically defined first, so that=
will have priority.  =

     Why not just call them lophotrochozoans, and let them remain an info=
taxon, at the very least until we can demonstrate whether or not it is ba=
on symplesiomorphies rather than synapomorphies.
      Has the cladification of Mammalia gotten us any closer to understan=
the interrelationships of mammalian orders?  Do we really need formal tax=
Altungulata, Pseudoungulata, Uranotheria, Behemota, Tethytheria, Afrother=
Cetartiodactyla (=3D Eparctocyona ?), or even "oldies" like Glires and
     I recognized a glires clade in my classification, but only informall=
among a coded list of Orders:
    6  Rodentiformes
    B  Lagomorphiformes
I don't think this clade is an unnatural grouping, but if it was, I would=
move Lagomorphiformes next to its true sister group and recode the sequen=
ce. =

The formal taxa remain the same, but the new cladogram is reflected by
recoding the sequence (and reordering if necessary).
     Same goes for archontans.  Is the informal "archontans" less informa=
than the formal "Archonta"?  Did you know McKenna makes Eutheria a synony=
m of
Placentalia.  It seems to me that cladists have already gone overboard wi=
the formal taxa, and PhyloCode will encourage more of the same (maybe eve=
open the floodgates).  =

      Uniramia is as dead as a doornail as far as I am concern, but I bet=
somebody's going to give it a formal cladistic definition.  You don't nee=
formal intermediate taxa to be "concerned" about them or discuss them.  T=
nomenclatural landscape is already too littered with abandoned names and
synonyms.  There are better ways to finely split classifications without
destabilizing the formal nomenclature.
P.S.   BTW Mike, I am not just a generalist.  In fact as co-editor of Mam=
Species of the World (1982)--- which was based on my manuscript--- I was
rather unhappy when they left out all my subspecies information.

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