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Breadth of a Genus (was Re: "Megapnosaurus" says farewell...and enter Coelophysis rhodesiensis)



In a message dated Mon, 4 Feb 2002 11:13:07 AM Eastern Standard Time, "Fam 
Jansma" <fam.jansma@worldonline.nl> writes:

> A example, take the common housecat,
> felis, does anyone have any idea that there are lot more species in the
> genus felis than just the housecat? 

I'm getting tired of people using this example as a justification for large 
genera.  The genus _Felis_ contains four species:  _F. sylvestris_ (wild cats 
and domestic cat), _F. chaus_ (jungle cat), _F. bieti_ (Chinese desert cat), 
and _F. nigripes_ (black-footed cat).  Some workers would also include 
_Otocolobus manul_ (Pallas's cat), and some would separate out the domestic cat 
as _F. catus_.  I think most contemporary workers agree that the rest of the 
extant species belong in other genera, a dozen or more.

--Nick P.