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RE: Yet Another FAQ: phylum, order, family

> From: Mike Taylor [mailto:mike@tecc.co.uk]
> > Additionally, the breakdown of units is different between
> > traditional zoological and botanical subdivisions.
> You mean that (for example) Megafamily might be more inclusive than
> Gigafamily in the plant world?

Not sure there, but "Division" in plant taxonomy is analogous to "Phylum" in
the zoological literature, while "Division" has been used in the zoological
literature for a rank below the class group (Class, Subclass, Infraclass,

> > Incidentally, the suffixes added to various ranks within Animalia
> > are not standardized for taxa above the family level.
> What about -oidea for superfamilies?

D'oh!  I meant "the family group" (which includes sub- and superfamilies).
However, chondrichthyian workers have ALSO used that suffix for suborder

> > See many previous discussions in the DML archive: for example, how
> > about
> > http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1997May/msg00421.html.
> Thanks for this reference, I'll update the FAQ answer to include the
> material about how suborder endings have varied in different fields.
> Very illustrative.

> Indeed.  I thought I'd made that point when I said ``and it _is_ a
> matter of judgement rather than of fact; one man's parvorder is
> another man's nonorder'' but I guess it bears re-emphasising.
Quite so.

> Many thanks for this swift and informative critique.
> I am now going to make the unwarranted assumption that every part of
> it that you _didn't_ criticise is ``sufficiently correct'' :-)
Well, it didn't leap out at me as wrong

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796