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Re: The Papers That Ate Cincinnati

On 5/6/07, Nick Pharris <npharris@umich.edu> wrote:

The problem for etymologizers like myself is that we experience cognitive dissonance when the coverage of an apomorphy-based name like Mammalia doesn't match up with the distribution of the apomorphy in question (assuming, of course, that the apomorphy arose only once).

For this reason, the latest draft of the PhyloCode includes a hyphenated prefix, "Apo-", which can be used with a crown clade name to denote an etymological apomorphy-based named. To take your example, if _Mammalia_ is defined as a crown group (e.g., the final common ancestor of _Ornithorhynchus anatinus_ and _Homo sapiens_, and all descendants thereof), then "Apo-Mammalia" may be defined as, e.g., "the initial ancestor of _Mammalia_ to possess mammary glands homologously with those in _Mammalia_, and all descendants thereof". (Note that this would self-destruct in the unlikely event of lactation turning out to have arisen separately in monotremes and therians.)

Maybe we could
restrict the use of apomorphy-based names to apomorphy-based clades,
and use all eponymous names for node-and stem-based clades?

I think that's a bit of a tall order, although it might work well in some instances. Depends on the apomorphy/ies and how the name is commonly used. -- Mike Keesey