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Re: The PhyloCode will not address the naming of species (Was The Papers That Ate Cincinnati)

On 5/10/07, Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> wrote:
Mike Keesey wrote:

>But, on another note, if we understand "Mirandornithes" to *mean* "the
>flamingo-grebe clade", >then the recognition that other groups also belong
>should not invalidate it.

True.  But Sangster clearly *intended* for Mirandornithes to be limited to
grebes and flamingoes.  The clade was erected solely to emphasise the
(perceived) unique relationship between the two.

Well, it would also include their last common ancestor, which was neither a grebe nor a flamingo. But yes, if you mean "limited to grebes and flamingoes *among extant organisms*", then you have a point.

To my way of thinking (and I could be wrong here), the only way to guarantee
that Mirandornithes can *only* include grebes and flamingoes is to have
multiple external specifiers drawn from every neognath 'order' outside of
Podicipediformes and Phoenicopteriformes.

Well, there is one other way: define _Podicipediformes_ and _Phoenicopteriformes_ as node-based crown clades, and then add a qualifying clause to the _Mirandornithes_ definition, stating that _Mirandornithes_ is null if any extant, non-podicipediform, non-phoenicopteriform organisms are descended from the last common ancestor of _Phoenicopterus ruber_ and_Podiceps cristatus_. (A bit convoluted, but it works.)

One way to avoid Mirandornithes becoming a heterodefinitional synonym of
Neoaves would be to amend the definition to include one neoavian taxon as an
external specifier (_Passer_ would work).  Mirandornithes might include
several bird 'orders' (including grebes and flamingoes), but it would never
swallow up the entire Neoaves.

But, since _Neoaves_ would presumably have priority, _Neoaves_ would be the one "swallowing up" _Mirandornithes_--not a bad thing at all. -- Mike Keesey