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Re: SVP Preview



> << 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.

What's your definition of "well-established"? Usage of Megalosauroidea (along
with all taxa with names derived from _Megalosaurus_) has been nothing if nto
inconsistent.

> In the long run, phylogenetic taxonomy 
> will be viewed as yet another taxonomic fad in an ever lengthening list of 
> such fads and methodologies.

Crap ... why doesn't anyone tell me these things!!! :)

> 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.

I wholeheartedly agree, and so does the draft PhyloCode. (In fact, this is an
example given for the recommendation that taxa be defined in accord with the
original usage.)

=====
=====> T. Michael Keesey <keesey@bigfoot.com>
=====> The Dinosauricon <http://dinosauricon.com>
=====> BloodySteak <http://bloodysteak.com>
=====> Instant Messenger <Ric Blayze>
=====

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