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GALTONIA (a test case?)




Dear All,
The question is, should we do something proactively to minimize future confusion over homonyms like Galtonia (PhyloCode is coming, like it or not). There is no big problem under traditional codes---the zoologists use it for a dinosaur genus, and botanists have long used it for a genus of flowering plants. There is almost no chance that this dinosaur and these flowers existed at the same time (much less that this dinosaur ate such flowers), so confusion is not anticipated under ICZN and ICBN.
*However*, when PhyloCode kicks in, we have potential problems. Since Galtonia the flower is obviously an older name and morphologically far better known (Galtonia the dinosaur is based on very little material), I assume dinosaurologists will allow Galtonia the flower to be cladistically defined first (and retain its priority).
But if there is not some agreement on such cases beforehand, I can envision a zoologist jumping the gun and trying to cladistically define something like the dinosaur Galtonia to get it priority under PhyloCode (and this would just make traditional botanists very angry and perhaps phylogenetic botanists as well). Luckily in this case, the dinosaur taxon only has one species, so I doubt this would happen (although discovery of a more complete, but distinct species of this dinosaur could potentially muddy the water----but what are the odds of that?---realistically very remote, thank goodness).
My question to those who favor PhyloCode is this: Is anything being done proactively to prevent such problems with homonyms, rather than just waiting to see what happens, and then have a PhyloCode committee make a decision after such problems arise?
Of course, in real life, the case for Galtonia (the flower) getting PhyloCode priority is so strong that I doubt any zoologist would try to undermine it. However, there are going to be a lot of other cases that aren't nearly this clear cut.
------Ken Kinman
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