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PhyloCode again (was *Eudibamus*)




David,
Unfortunately the term Reptilia can't be "ignored" either. In fact, upon putting mesosaurs back in with anapsids, Laurin and Gauthier have decided to use Reptilia rather than Sauropsida in the Arizona "Tree of Life". From this I would guess that Gauthier might want Reptilia to replace Sauria, if and when turtles are transferred to Lepidosauromorpha or Archosauromorpha. Then I suppose Sauropsida will pop back up----this all vividly illustrates the inadvisability of sacrificing stability of content in favor of stability of cladistic definitions. But perhaps we can at least hope that Gauthier will drop Reptilia altogether, and this kidnapped term will be returned to us non-cladists (although in poor shape having been so taxonomically abused during its cladistic captivity).
In any case, most of this will be ignored by professional eclecticist taxonomists and most of the public, and Reptilia will continue to be used in the traditional sense (which has remained relatively stable and popular in spite of the cladistic redefinition and the continuing shifts in content). Of course, this could have been avoided if cladists left names like Reptilia and Amphibia alone, and created new names for their unstable shifting taxa.
Having commandeered our names and destabilized them, strict cladists will ultimately have to face the criticism and cladistic backlash that is slowly building in intensity. I just hope the backlash doesn't spill over onto cladistic "analysis", which will have great potential when it finally becomes a mature discipline----presently it is more like a head-strong teenager who thinks he has all the answers and has disrupted the rest of the family in the process.
That is why I agree with Michael Benton that the PhyloCode will be a taxonomic disaster, making things worse rather than better (for all taxonomists). Some of us had a discussion on TAXACOM with Cantino, and there was some agreement on at least one problem with PhyloCode, but I wonder if he will be successful even on that change since moderate cladists seem to be outnumbered and outvoted by more aggressive cladists.
In any case, I do look forward to reading Cantino's published response to Benton's paper in Biological Reviews. But as I told Cantino in our discussions, I do not share his optimism in how the PhyloCode will be implemented by the more aggressive cladists. I wouldn't worry if I thought it would remain as cladists squabbling among themselves, but it will no doubt spill over and involve us all. Thank you Mike Benton for at least trying to head off this disaster.
-----Ken Kinman
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"David Marjanovic" wrote:
That was what I tried to imply :-] when I wrote "ignored", not "abandoned" or "dropped". As the content is at present the same, no one forces us to use Reptilia when we are speaking of the content, what we do most of the time.
What's the matter with the hips of *Eudibamus*?
Whatever, if turtles are archosauromorphs, then the term Reptilia will become quite useless, I think.
BTW, definitions can still change (shouldn't in most cases, okay) before PhyloCode is official.


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