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Re: Undefined names, Caudipteryx



> > I think that's changing... phylogenetic trees are everywhere, and 
> > nowadays most are made by means of cladistics. 
> 
> That doesn't mean that the masses will actually understand them or that 
> they're correct. 
 
Of course. So what. ~:-| 
 
> > Having Aramidae and Gruidae next to each other makes 
> > one think that they're equally diverse. If *Aramus* alone is the 
> > sistergroup of Gruidae, why not present it as such? 
> 
> It's fine to present it as the sistergroup,but then give it a similiair 
> name,because that will show these are phylogenetic lineages that are 
> close but certainly aren't part of each other. 
 
This reminds me of Ax's idea to give sistergroups equal (but always 
unnamed) ranks. Indeed it would help if sistergroups had the same endings. 
But we obviously can't invent enough endings for all quadrillions of ranks 
if we want to use each only once, and in any case it would only work in a 
stable phylogeny, except if we shifted the endings around all the time -- 
which is one of the instabilities that Linnaean nomenclature has and the 
current draft of the PhyloCode lacks. 
        I like the current practice that can be seen in Dinosauromorpha, 
-iformes, -ia, Mammali(a)morpha, -formes, -a, Archosauromorpha, -iformes, 
ia... and Prolacertiformes being the (probable...) sistergroup of 
Archosauriformes (though at least the latter is node-based, so it won't 
stay that way forever). 
 
> > > As for Psophia,I believe no fossil ones have ever been described,but 
> > > they must have existed obviously! 
> > 
> > But as long as we don't know any, why are we carrying the name 
> > Psophiidae around? We can always invent it later, when or rather if 
> > such a fossil is actually discovered. We don't need it yet. 
> 
> Nothing more convenient then allready having the group where they should 
> be placed when they're found. 
 
Not much of a difference. -- Why should we carry the name around for, say, 
200 years? 
 
> Furthermore,the family has been erected a very 
> long time ago so why do away with it when it's valid? 
 
Under PhyloCode, nothing is valid yet, and from January 1, 200n, onwards, 
the question will be whether to convert Psophiidae or not. 

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