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GALTONIA (a test case?)
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,
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.
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