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Re: SVP Preview



In a message dated 9/28/02 12:08:08 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
mightyodinn@yahoo.com writes:

<< On another note, if Sereno first defined _Torvosauroidea_ using an 
identical
 definition to his definition for _Spinosauroidea_, then, under PT,
 _Torvosauroidea_ should have priority. Once again, they aren't superfamilies
 (although superfamilies with the same name might exist under traditional,
 ICZN-based taxonomy) -- they are phylogenetic taxa, clades with no absolute
 rank. As with species, priority should be assigned by date of explicit
 definition, not by date of coinage. >>

I see nothing to be gained from demolishing well-established taxa in favor of 
those with phylogenetic definitions. In the long run, phylogenetic taxonomy 
will be viewed as yet another taxonomic fad in an ever lengthening list of 
such fads and methodologies. If one must make phylogenetic definitions for 
taxa, then every effort should be made to construct phylogenetic definitions 
that accord with the intents of the originators. For example, defining 
Dinosauria as the common ancestor of some modern bird or other and 
Triceratops, plus all its descendants, is definitely >not< what Owen had in 
mind in 1842 (Triceratops was quite unknown in 1842, for example). Owen 
created Dinosauria for three genera--Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and 
Hylaeosaurus--and one can define Dinosauria phylogenetically to be the common 
ancestor of Megalosaurus and Iguanodon (while Hylaeosaurus comes along with 
Iguanodon), plus all its descendants. This is exactly the same clade as the 
former, and is as close as possible to the original (non-phylogenetic) 
definition. I'm sure that even Owen, irascible SOB that he was, would be 
happy with it under the circumstances.