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Re: Superfamilies

--- Steven Mahon <floridamahon@yahoo.com> wrote:
>     Hello All,
> I was told several times that I should change names
> ending in -oidea in accordance with ICZN.

It really depends on whether you are using these as superfamilies or as clades.
Note that:
1) not all taxa ending in "-oidea" are necessarily superfamilies in Linnaean
taxonomy (Order Hyracoidea, Subclass Echinoidea, etc.)
2) all supraspecific taxa are rankless clades in phylogenetic taxonomy.

> (e.g.
> Oviraptoroidea to Caenagnathoidea, & Spinosauroidea to
> Megalosauroidea). I have only one problem with this:
> how do I know what that group should contain, (I know
> of course the family-level of the name). How do I know
> what other families belong in the super-family?

Under the Linnaean system, whatever you want. Include Caenagnathidae in
Caenagnathoidea, include Megalosauridae in Megalosauroidea; the rest is up to
you. There may be some guidelines to follow from tradition (e.g., Family
Oviraptoridae in Superfamily Caenagnathoidea).

Under the phylogenetic system, these are not superfamilies (there are no
absolute ranks), but either clades with explicit definitions, or undefined
names. E.g., _Spinosauroidea_ has been defined as Clade(_Spinosaurus_ +
_Torvosaurus_); "Megalosauroidea" has not been defined (TMK), so it is nothing.

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