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Re: Rank taxonomy (was Re: Cladism (akin to masochism))

>   Cool.  Now the question is, are the names just put into a list?  I.e. you
>just have a column of names going from the species all the way back to that
>first blue-green algae?
>    Deinonychus
>    Deinonychosauria
>    Maniraptora
>    Coelurosauria
>    Tetanurae
>    Theropoda
>    etc.
>    is going to be damn difficult to represent in a relational database......

Actually its fairly easy. Ages ago (before I knew anything about
cladistics), I started to set up a database of dinosaur clasifications.

I started out setting up by tables for class, subclass, order, suborder,
infraorder, etc. This quickly became unworkable as new levels kept
appearing, while there were lots of species which skipped levels.

I then redesigned the database to just use one table which was something like:

                | Node No       |<--+
                | Name          |   |
                | Level         |   |
                | Parent No     |---+
                | (other fields |

This was using linnean taxonomy so the level field would contain "class",
"order" or whatever. By the sound of things, this field could be left out in
a caldistic database.

I'm not sure if the above is very coherent (its very late and I should be in
bed), so I'll give an example of your dinosaur (throwing in one or two extra

        Node No         Name                    Parent No
        1               Dinosauria              NULL
        2               Saurischia              1
        3               Ornithaschia            1
        4               Theropoda               2
        5               Saurapodamorpha         2
        6               Tetanurae               4
        7               Coelurosauria           6
        8               Maniraptora             7
        9               Deinonychosauria        8
        10              Deinonychus             9
        11              Dromaeosaurus           9

Please forgive any spelling (or other) mistakes. As I say, its late.

James Shields  -  jshields@iol.ie  -  http://www.iol.ie/~jshields
And when the ark was finished Noah said unto Elvis, "What do you reckin?"
And Elvis checked out his own cabin and shook his head saying "poky".
And so did they knock several walls through and install a jaccuzzi.
And when it was all done Noah scratched his beard and said, "We don't have
room for all the animals now."
And Elvis perused the livestock list and in his wisdom said, "Lose the
        -Robert Rankin, The Suburban Book of the Dead