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RE: Nomenclatural question

Strictly speaking, except for those suffixes mandated by the ICZN for
family-group names there are no official conventions regarding the use
of add-ons in coining names for taxa, so you can pretty much do as you
like. In the specific case you mentioned, '-morpha' and '-formes' both
mean 'form', so 'Dinosauromorpha' would be 'dinosaur-form', making it an
appropriate name for a clade which includes not only dinosaurs, but also
some outgroup taxa that are dinosaur-ish. '-formes' has often been used
as a suffix for 'orders' (for instance in birds). While off the top of
my head I can't think of any occasion where a taxon ending '-formes' has
been more inclusive than a corresponding taxon ending '-morpha', I don't
really see any reason why this couldn't happen.


        Christopher Taylor

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of A.P. Hazen
Sent: Saturday, 1 July 2006 5:56 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Nomenclatural question

(We had a discussion of the "Eu-" prefix a little while back.  At the 
other end of taxon-nomenclature...)
A number  of taxa with names like Blankomorpha and Blankiformes have 
been defined in recent years to cover extinct critters which, before 
the cladistic revolution, would  have been called ancestral Blanks, 
but which have had the bad luck not to leave living descendents and 
so are "outside the crown group Blank."  My sense  is that when  both 
suffixes have been used, Blankomorpha is the more inclusive.  Is 
there actually an established convention governing this?
Allen Hazen
Philosophy Department
University of Melbourne

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