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Re: Archaeopteryx

George Olshevsky (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<Actually, that's what I do in The Dinosaur Catalogue. I don't use ranks
above the family level any more, since the ICZN doesn't regulate them. And
I only  use family-level name endings so that something-oidea contains
something-idae  contains something -inae contains something-ini contains
something-ina. Some  mnemonic features of the Linnaean system are worth
preserving; that's the  ultimate value of the system.>

  I have suggested this myself. For any clade name which would be named
ending in -idae, the least inclusive clade containing that -idae--named
clade should bear the ending -oidea; the most inclusive clade contained
directly by the clade ending in -idae should therefore bear the ending
-inae [and so forth...]

  However, these all assume a nature of or the ending to the clade as
being superior to a clade without such, or the reverse. There should be no
"special" clades, and the entire use of ranks continues to imply that
there are, in fact, "better" clades than others. The standardized endings
for Family-level taxa (including subfamilies and superfamilies, etc.) are
such an example, or that conventional for various clade's Orders. As
recently pointed out, the more inclusive, higher clades are not any more
better than the lesser inclusive clades they contain, they are just names
for more clades. Redundant taxa or names for ranks, such as
Opisthocomiformes for Opithocomidae for *Opisthocomus* only, is just such
an example, and this is true among other birds, reptiles, fish, etc. The
rank system predicates this "special clade" condition too easily.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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