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RE: SVP Preview



George Olshevsky wrote:

> Names of taxa are supposed to be a mnemonic aid to retrieving
> information  about low-level taxa such as species and genera. 

That used to be the sole function of higher-level names: taxonomic labels
for Linnaean hierarchies.  However, in more recent times, names provide
useful markers for highlighting inferred phylogenetic relationships between
taxa.  Taxon names have therefore become signposts on an evolutionary
roadmap.  As our ideas on these relationships change, it's useful to have
names that can be 'moved around' the tree, rather than fixed in a
'rank-and-file' hierarchial order by their suffices.


Tim