Message 2004-10-0156: Re: Monotypic genera and the PhyloCode

Sat, 25 Sep 2004 21:30:04 -0700 (PDT)

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Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 21:30:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: [unknown]
To: Mailing List - Dinosaur <>, Mailing List - PhyloCode <>
Subject: Re: Monotypic genera and the PhyloCode

--- Michael de Sosa <> wrote:

> Jonathan Wagner wrote:
> >I think many people would agree with the idea that a name that=
> >traditionally refers to a species should be used for a species, an=
d a name=20
> >that has traditionally NOT been used for a species should NOT be u=
sed for a=20
> >species. Regardless of how much easier it is to remember one or th=
e other,=20
> >swapping names between two different categories of taxa (clades an=
> >populations) is a pretty bad idea.
> But for many fossil genera with only one known species, the generic=
 name HAS=20
> traditionally been used for the species. A name like Minmi paravert=
ebra is=20
> redundant, as it only refers to one population (actually only one=
> *individual*). So assuming we do need to reduce the name of the pop=
> to a single term, a brief perusal of the literature will quickly de=
> which name has traditionally been used, over and over again, to des=
cribe the=20
> population, both in the text of papers and in phylogenetic diagrams=
. The=20
> name *paravertebra* is used maybe once, just for appearances, if at=
> After that it's all *Minmi* this and *Minmi* that.

Actually, there is a specimen (from Marathon Station, Queensland) ref=
erred to
_Minmi sp._ -- thus it's not clear that this genus is monotypic.
> I guess I don't see the point of making a name *less* precise and t=
> attaching a citation or a marker to make it *more* precise again, o=
r of=20
> putting the generic name in quotes in front of the species name to =
> access to the literature" when you can just use the generic name wh=
ich is=20
> actually *used* in the literature and save yourself some time in=
> cross-referencing. But I see you have different priorities and your=
> reasoning makes sense in that context. *shrug*

_Minmi_ and _M. paravertebra_ refer to different taxonomic entities. =
to _Minmi_ in the literature do not necessarily refer just to _M.
paravertebra_, even if it is the only named species. _Minmi_ is under=
stood to
encompass a larger group. (The Marathon Station specimen, for example=
, may or
may not be from a different species -- momentarily ignoring the separ=
question of what exactly a species is.....)

Furthermore, as pointed out above, there are hardly any cases where a=
 genus is
unequivocally monotypic. And even where it may seem to be, there may =
literature that is being overlooked. And even if that is not the case=
, there
may be a desire to place future discoveries in a new species of that =

Of course, if _Minmi_ were converted to a clade or used as a species =
it could still be used; it's not as though there is a proposal to con=
vert only
non-monotypic genera.

=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D> T. Michael Keesey <>
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D> The Dinosauricon <>
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D> Instant Messenger <Ric Blayze>

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