Message 2001-06-0090: Fwd: Re: My classification of coelurosaurs

Thu, 17 May 2001 13:40:46 -0400

[Previous by date - Stepping back]
[Next by date - Re: Re: My classification of coelurosaurs]
[Previous by subject - Fwd: Re: My classification of coelurosaurs]
[Next by subject - Fwd: Re: New Dinosauricon Taxon Pages: _Therizinosauria_]

Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 13:40:46 -0400
From: Philip Cantino <>
Subject: Fwd: Re: My classification of coelurosaurs

There are two serious misconceptions revealed in Scott Redhead's
latest posting:

>Buried within the ideology behind the PhyloCode are some good ideas,
>but renaming all organisms will never fly.

The goal of phylogenetic nomenclature isn't to rename organisms, but
rather to govern the application of their names in a different way.
Many names under the PhyloCode will continue to refer to the same set
of organisms they do under the codes of traditional (rank-based)
nomenclature.  This will generally be the case when the taxon to
which the name is applied under the traditional system is
monophyletic (for example the plant taxa currently called Poaceae and
Asteraceae will undoubtedly continue to bear those names under the
PhyloCode).  When a taxon recognized under the traditional codes is
paraphyletic, its name will either be ignored by users of
phylogenetic nomenclature or in some cases be applied to the clade
that stems from the immediate common ancestor of the paraphyletic
group.  While it might appear at first glance that the latter
approach will introduce confusion, the kind of ambiguity it
introduces already exists under the traditional system, where many
names are applied differently by different authors right now.  For
example, the plant family name Apocynaceae refers to a clade in some
classifications and a paraphyletic group in others.  Under the
PhyloCode, this name would be used in the former sense only.

>Recently it was voiced that perhaps a PhyloCode could be released
>that did not address genera and species.  The International Code of
>Botanical Nomenclature does not regulate names above the level of
>family. Systematists are free to use whatever name they choose above
>family (for "plants", "fungi" sensu lato). The overlap between the
>ICBN and such a PhyloCode would be very narrow (family and
>subfamilial but not generic). For example, Archaeoascomycetes and
>Neolectomycetes and Taphrinomycotina compete and there are no rules
>to force use of one or the other.

The second sentence of this paragraph is incorrect (although the
statement would be nearly correct for the Zoological Code, which does
not regulate names above the level of superfamily).  In the Botanical
Code, on the other hand, many rules apply above the family level.
For example, ICBN (2000) Articles 16 and 17 deal entirely with
suprafamilial names.  What Scott may be thinking of is ICBN Art.
11.9, which states that the principle of priority is not mandatory
for names of taxa above the rank of family.  However, ICBN Rec. 16B.1
states: "In choosing among typified names for a taxon above the rank
of family, authors should generally follow the principle of
priority."  Therefore, if one assumes that recommendations are meant
to be followed, it is not correct that, if the PhyloCode applied only
to taxa that are ranked under the ICBN above the genus level, the
overlap between the two codes would be restricted to families and


Philip D. Cantino
Professor and Chair
Department of Environmental and Plant Biology
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979

Phone: (740) 593-1128; 593-1126
Fax: (740) 593-1130


Feedback to <> is welcome!