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Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 18:31:50 -0700 (PDT)
To: David Marjanovic <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Phylocode <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: An alternative to the Companion Volume?
David Marjanovic (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote: <- However, we need such a compromise. I see the poetry, but I want t= o have a clear situation as soon as possible. Five or even ten years may be le= ss than possible, but I'm not going to wait for 100 years before _any_ names = really become valid.> Why would you have to wait 100 years? The names used today are vali= d. It's their application and use as standards in nomenclature for the purpos= es of cladistics that requires validation. Jon's proposal is waiting for, a= s I agree, for the studies to catch up to uses bandied about fast as electrons o= n wire. The time delay, in fact, allows us to be able to sit and think rather= than hastily run out are favorite names and uses as it suits us. That's ju= st allowing the problem to fester. We can, as we HAVE been doing, allow definitions and their applications to be provisional until agreement = occurs. And I think that finding MUTUAL agreement on a definition and use of = a name is MORE important than determining that a name can only be valid once it= 's been defined, and thus must be published NOW. We've been using names like = Arthropoda and Taxaceae for the last century and more, and they are applied almo= st universally save for fossil basal forms and the subsequent shifting o= f their innards (as in bird "orders"). An example: Bourdon, E. 2005. Osteological evidence for sister group relationsh= ip between pseudo-toothed birds (Aves: Odontopterygiformes) and waterfowls (Anseriformes). _Naturwissenschaften_ DOI 10.1007/s00114-005-0047-= 0 Abstract: "Abstract The phylogenetic affinities of the extinct pseudo-toothed= birds have remained controversial. Some authors noted that they resemble both= pelicans and allies (Pelecaniformes) and tube-nosed birds (Procellariiforme= s), but assigned them to a distinct taxon, the Odontopterygiformes. In mos= t recent studies, the pseudo-toothed birds are referred to the family Pelag= ornithidae inside the Pelecaniformes. Here, I perform a cladistic analysis wi= th five taxa of the pseudo-toothed birds including two undescribed new spe= cies from the Early Tertiary of Morocco. The present hypothesis strongly sup= ports a sister group relationship of pseudo-toothed birds (Odontopterygifo= rmes) and waterfowls (Anseriformes). The Odontoanserae (Odontopterygiformes = plus Anseriformes) are the sister group of Neoaves. The placement of th= e landfowls (Galliformes) as the sister taxon of all other neognathous birds d= oes not support the consensus view that the Galloanserae (Galliformes plus Anseriformes) are monophyletic." Defining Galloanserae for whatever grand support it has had recentl= y may in fact be wrong, if Galliformes is basal to a ((Anseriformes + Odontopterygiformes) + Neoaves) clade. Careful planning of such conti= ngencies will in fact require robust support and analyses of various other for= ms to take into account the possible variation in relationships, arguing rather = that there may NOT be robust support for such a taxon as Galloanserae, and that = plasticity of nomenclature either requires extensive foresight to formulate a du= rable, yet flexible definition. This cannot be left to just those contributions = in a companion volume, but rather may require instead the cooperation of t= he entire field of ornithology to help figure out how best to formulate use of = names like "Galloanserae" that fits the diversity of data. As it it, databases o= n comparative anatomies and genebanks, not to mention morphological cha= racter datasets, need to be larger. There are currently more characters used= in morphological studies of the non-avian Theropoda (about 100 or so tax= a included) than has EVER been used for any group of birds, arguing tha= t there are some serious philosophical and taxonomic inclusiveness or exclusi= veness going on that needs to be examined. Without such examination, nomencl= ature and definitions need to be provisional, and should not be mandatory for f= ollowers of PhyloCode. It will, in end, antagonize many researchers ANYWAY, bu= t seeking community effort and agreement is worth more, I think, than personal = ideology. Cheers, Jaime A. Headden "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) =09=09 __________________________________=20 Start your day with Yahoo! - Make it your home page!=20 http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs