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Re: Undefined names, Caudipteryx






From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
Reply-To: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Undefined names, Caudipteryx
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 20:52:46 +0200 (MEST)

(Wow. My 5th mail today...)

> > -- And under Linnaean taxonomy there _is_ a need for that name,
>
> Well,that's to put everything in convenient,easy-to-work-with ''boxes.''
> It just doesn't work to have all kinds of taxa just hanging around in a
> phylogeny in a way like this:

Of course it does (for me :-) ). What you present below isn't a phylogeny
(and then the monophyly of Gruiformes is in discussion...).

> Order Gruiformes
> Rallidae
> Gruidae
> Otididae
> Cariamidae
> Mesitornithidae
> Heliornithidae
> Psophidae
>
> oh yeah and then we got Aramus,Rhynochetos & Eurypygia wich can't be
> more properly placed in families,because these would be monotypical.
> Doesn't work easy for me.

In a list as above, it does look clumsy. But in a cladogram, I think this

+--Rallidae
`--+--*Aramus*
   `--Gruidae

looks much better than

+--Rallidae
`--+--Aramidae
   `--Gruidae

because it conveys more information (even if only about the "size" =
contents of Aramidae).

Maybe,but you shouldn't forget that everyday people don't work with cladistics and if you have to put something like phylogeny in a book for the masses it's much more comprehensible if everything's placed in ''niveaus'' of the same importance to avoid that people might wonder why some species seem to have a far greater importance or status then other species.



> Furthermore,Rhynochetidae,Eurypigidae & Aramidae aren't the
> same at all as their respective species,wich happen to count only one
> each,because all three families include fossil members as well that
> obviously aren't part of the living species.

Oh, I wasn't talking of such cases. I agree the 3 aren't monotypic just
because only one species each survives. (Though... what known extinct
rhynochetid is there? And what psophiids are there except *Psophia*? Real
questions, not rhetorical ones.)

Well there is this subfossil kagu,though I don't remember it's name as a species.Furthermore,some include the extinct New Zealand adzebill (Aptornis (or Apterornis)) in Rhynochetidae as well.
As for Psophia,I believe no fossil ones have ever been described,but they must have existed obviously!


Brian

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