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Re: GALTONIA (a test case?)



Forwarded to the PhyloCode Mailing List and sci.bio.systematics as well.

(Hey folks, a lot of these discussions would be far better suited to the
PhyloCode Mailing List and/or sci.bio.systematics, two forums which are
currently starved for discussion. Doesn't the DML have enough traffic as
it is?

Instructions for joining the PhyloCode Mailing List are at
http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/index.html near the bottom of the page.)

On Sat, 10 Mar 2001, Ken Kinman wrote:

>       *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?

>From the PhyloCode preface <http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/preface.html>:

"The starting date will be scheduled to coincide with the publication of a
companion volume that will provide phylogenetic definitions for many
widely used clade names. This volume will also provide an opportunity for
the authors of names that were given phylogenetic definitions before the
starting date to republish them in accordance with the PhyloCode and
thereby establish their nomenclatural precedence."

This companion volume would be a good place to sort out synonyms between
flora & fauna, so that the committee is guaranteed not having to provide a
ruling at a later date (to steal David Hillis' examples: establish
_Drosophila_ as a fly, not a fungus, _Pinus_ as a tree, not an echinoderm,
etc.), in the unlikely event that someone tries to assert an inappropriate
name. (Even if _Galtonia_ weren't a synonym of a plant, the type material
[some premaxillary teeth] is probably too poor to specify a clade
[Recommendations 9B, 11.8A, 11.8B, 11B, 11C]. I suppose _gibbidens_ might
remain under whatever species system is set up -- _Ornithischia
gibbidens_?)

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T. MICHAEL KEESEY
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