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*Rana (Pelophylax) (ridibunda) lessonae* was Re: Nano



While on Varanus, a well established genus containing dozens of species on
three continents (there are no indications it will be split up, if anything
super-sized Megalania may be sunk into the genus, Amer Natural 146: 398-414 1995),
shows far more variation in in detailed anatomy and gross form than the
entire Tyrannosauridae, which have long been known to be a conservative, uniform
group. Check out a gorgosaur and a T rex skeleton in the same museum and note
how little difference there really is. See how much more difference there is
between the broad snouted ora and a slender nosed dwarf Varanus literally
hundreds of times smaller. Makes one think.

I guess *Varanus* is simply a 19th- or perhaps 18th-century genus. For example, Linné recognized two genera of frogs: *Rana* and *Bufo*. (*Pipa pipa* was *Rana pipa*.) Nowadays *Rana* (with tons of subgenera and superspecies = "species groups") is apparently synonymous with Raninae, and there is evidence that *Bufo* (with its exorbitant number of "species groups") is paraphyletic with respect to some or all of the 30-odd other bufonid genera. (In total there are some 350 species of Bufonidae, most of them in *Bufo*.)


*Varanus* likewise has a couple of subgenera.

It is not surprising that the newest paper on *Rana* phylogeny(*) uses the PhyloCode instead of inventing ranks between genus and subgenus and between subgenus and superspecies.

(*) Only concerned with the New World species -- formerly *Rana (Amerana)*, the useless *Rana (Aurorana)*, *Rana (Aquarana)*, *Rana (Pantherana)*, and a IIRC few others -- as well as one species of Palaearctic brown frog, *Rana (Rana) (temporaria) temporaria*. No indication about the position of any of those relative to the Palaearctic green = water frogs, *Rana (Pelophylax)*, as well as relative to an ?African? clade of more subgenera like *Rana (Amnirana)*. Grumble, moan.