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Re: Monotypic genera and the PhyloCode



--- Nick Pharris <npharris@umich.edu> wrote:

> And here we've gotten to the crux of the matter:  traditionally, we tend to
> use the species as a kind of basic unit of evolutionary biology (though the
> individual or the population would in many ways be better).

Agreed.

>  However, the basic unit of taxonomy is actually the genus:  it is the genus
> name that must be unique, for instance.

The species name is unique, when you consider that "species name" means BOTH
parts of the binomial ("rex" is not a species; "Tyrannosaurus rex" and
"Aliwalia rex" and "Othnielia rex" are.)

This seems to me like a very vertebrate paleontology-skewed perspective. In
many  other taxa, there are far more species per genus than in Mesozoic
dinosaurs.

> 1.)  Any species that has been named as the type species of a genus will take
> on that generic name as its uninominal.

This would create massive confusion with the preexisting literature -- can you
imagine _Homo_ pertaining only to our species, not even including Neanderthals?

> 2.)  All other species will be converted by having the specific name
> compounded with the generic name.

There is a huge problem here in that generic names are not universally agreed
upon. Is it _Homo garhi_, _Australopithecus garhi_, or _Paranthropus garhi_?

> So, for what is now _Parasaurolophus_, we would have:
> 
> _Parasaurolophus_ (=_P. walkeri_)
> _Tubiciniparasaurolophus_ (=_P. tubicen_)
> _Cyrtocristatiparasaurolophus_ (=_P. cyrtocristatus_)

Shouldn't these be in lower case, being species names?

> Sure, it makes for some long names, but they are one-word names that uniquely
> identify species.

It doesn't seem that it would always be obvious how to prepend a trivial
epithet. _bataarotarbosaurus_ or _bataartarbosaurus_? (Assuming it's considered
different from _Tarbosaurus efremovi_ ... err, _tarbosaurus_.)

Also, what happens if the new name is the same as a preexisting one? (I can't
think of an example off the top of my head, but they must be out there.)


=====
=====> T. Michael Keesey <http://dino.lm.com/contact>
=====> The Dinosauricon <http://dinosauricon.com>
=====> Instant Messenger <Ric Blayze>
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