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Re: Hippo-whale paper



Cetferungulata is a truly horrible word
(it sounds like a vulgar Latin insult).

Without a vowel between t and f, it doesn't sound Latin at all.

I've also seen "Cetruminantia" (whales+ruminants), and
"Artiofabula" (whales+ruminants+pigs).  These molecular
fellows have a penchant for horrible monikers.

Every node must be named, don't you remember (from the late 80s)? If in doubt whether a node has already been named, name it anyway (Supraprimates = Euarchontoglires; Boreotheria = Boreoeutheria).


The clade names of placental mammals are strictly concept-based. Whales are inside Artiodactyla? This means "Artiodactyla" is no longer a clade. It is dropped, and a new name must be invented. Ungulata turns out to be massively polyphyletic? "Ferungulata" must die, and resurrect as Fereuungulata -- if we can wrap our minds around whales being euungulates! "Proteutheria" is not in the same clade as the rest of Insectivora? Death and destruction to "Insectivora"; long live "Proteutheria" (...found para- and/or polyphyletic soon after) and Lipotyphla. Half of Lipotyphla belong to Afrotheria? Death and destruction to "Lipotyphla"; long live Afrosoricida and Eulipotyphla.

This approach has the big advantage of making clear exactly what an author means by each name. But this doesn't outweigh the disadvantages -- lots of new names for often trivial changes in contents, and lots of names for almost unsupported clades. Keep up with every paper or else.

BTW, this is the Generally Approved List Of the Eighteen Plus/Minus Zero Placental Orders:
Afrosoricida
Macroscelidea
Tubulidentata
Hyracoidea
Proboscidea
Sirenia
Xenarthra
Lagomorpha
Rodentia
Scandentia
Dermoptera
Primates
Eulipotyphla
Chiroptera
Carnivora
Pholidota
Perissodactyla
Cetartiodactyla