Message 2001-06-0047: Re: subscribers

Wed, 02 May 2001 00:36:20 -0700 (PDT)

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Date: Wed, 02 May 2001 00:36:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <>
Subject: Re: subscribers

Ken Kinman ( wrote:

<Has the cladification of Mammalia gotten us any closer to
understanding the interrelationships of mammalian orders?  Do we
really need formal taxa Altungulata, Pseudoungulata,
Uranotheria, Behemota, Tethytheria, Afrotheria, Cetartiodactyla
(= Eparctocyona ?), or even "oldies" like Glires and Archonta.>

  For senses of relationships of major taxa (perissodactyls,
whales, elephants, artiodactyls, carnivorans, xenarthrans, moles
etc., bats, monkeys, mice and allies, rabbits, there is a
neccessity in reference to given groupings. That's all these
names signify. If it means making a longer list to remember,
think of what ornithologists or ichthyologists or herpetologists
have to do with extant taxa. The game if double-fold for
invertebrates. Triple-fold _that_ for non-triploblasts.... If it
means a longer list, then so be it. These names mean nothing

<I recognized a glires clade in my classification, but only
informally 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 just move Lagomorphiformes next to its true sister
group and recode the sequence.>

  What true sister group? Is this not "Rodentiformes" or do you
dobut the morphological and molecular data to support this?
<The formal taxa remain the same, but the new cladogram is
reflected by recoding the sequence (and reordering if

  Only "formal" if you add -iformes. Thus, Gliriformes. This of
course is synonymous with Glires, which nobody would use because
formalization of names is so much more useful and naming the
group that rabbits, pikas, capybaras, and rats fall into would
be excessive.

<Same goes for archontans. Is the informal "archontans" less
informative than the formal "Archonta"?>

  What's an archontan? _Is_ it the same as Archonta? Does this
tell you anything. How are you using a distinction between a
formal and an informal name? Archonta has a definiton based on
explicit use of included taxa (bats, primates, dermopterans,
etc.), whereas the vulgar form refers to the taxon itself; one
requires the other. When I say Archonta, I am in a sense saying
"the least inclusive common ansector of bats, man, and
dermopterans (etc.)" When I say archontans, this becomes easier
than that, and referring to the "formal" name is useful in
discussions of relationships explicitly. Thus it would seem
useful to keep both....

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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