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Re: [Re: Non-serpentine lacertids (was RE:WHAT'S GOING ON?)]

>> If cladistics insists on assiging a name to each node of a clade, then
>> there would be an awful lot of names to recognize and use. Particularly
>> when you have clades nested several layes deep, then it becomes unwieldy.
>> Padian replied to the effect that this is being addresses, that perhaps
>> some nodes will remain unnamed. Well, is this the case?
>especially when a number of groups of people working on the same group
>produce different phylogenetic hypotheses, and then proceed to name to
>nodes/stems ... this leads, as you say, to a very great number of names
>for things and adds to, rather than, alleviates confusion.

This can be a problem.  But, believe it or not, this has really only been a
problem with one minor clade of organisms - Dinosauria.  But, I don't think
this will be a permanent problem; as rules of priority within the
phylogenetic system are clarified, redundant and synonymous names will be

The draft PhyloCode includes plans for a digital on-line database of
phylogenetic names and definitions, so priority will be unambiguous.
Several - including me - also believe that people working on a particular
group of organisms should hold workshops where the basics of the group's
taxonomy is established.  It is a shame this didn't happen with dinosaurs,
but again, the confusion seen in Dinosauria is not typical of other
phylogenetic systems currently in use, and matters will be settled as the
names are used.


Christopher A. Brochu
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

voice: 312-665-7633
fax: 312-665-7641
electronic:  cbrochu@fmppr.fmnh.org