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Re: Holotype Hype - A Response to Dubois & Nemesio



RESPONSE TO DUBOIS & NEMÉSIO (2007)

I find the argument about type specimens in Dubois & Nemésio (2007.
Zootaxa 1409: 1-22) perplexing. There is no ambiguity whatsoever
regarding type specimens in the the [...] (ICZN)

Dubois & Nemésio don't claim there is one. They just observe that this rule has occasionally not been followed and propose that the rule should be changed to allow for a few exceptions (though not as many as have already happened).


Besides, in paleontology, a type specimen is _never_ a complete individual or for that matter a complete skin. If a fossil feather can be the holotype of a valid taxon*, why can't a recent feather be one? If part of an organism is diagnostic, I can't see why the whole organism must be entered into a collection. It obviously helps, but it's not necessary.

* Without exception these are nomina dubia because fossil feathers are not diagnostic. But when we have DNA in that feather... and a blood sample and whatnot... not to mention the color pattern of that feather...