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Re: Aeolosaurus colhuehuapensis n sp

On 5/14/07, Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com> wrote:

I don't think it's wise, even though it's allowed: it's a name that commits the authors to a specific (and quite precise) phylogenetic hypothesis. By naming the new taxon _Aeolosaurus colhuehuapensis_, the authors are asserting that it is more closely related to _rionegrinus_ than to any other named sauropod genus: not something I'd be quick to do on the basis of (all together now) a series of eroded caudals.

Well, that's assuming _Aelosaurus_ is a clade--it's never been defined as such.

There's a big trend in systematics to make genera monophyletic. This
is going to break down at some point--not every species can be placed
in a monophyletic genus unless we allow genera to contain other
genera. The final common ancestor of dinosaurs, for example, could not
be placed into a monophyletic genus unless it included all dinosaurs.

At the last ISPN meeting, a draft of a new article concerning species
was presented which addressed a lot of these problems well. It allows
genera to be converted as clades or to be left alone. Species (which
are still to be governed by the current codes: ICZN, etc.) may be
cited using a formula of "prenomen" + trivial epithet + citation (and
after first mention the citation may be dropped and the prenomen
abbreviated). The article provides ways for indicating whether a
prenomen is a clade, a paraphyletic taxon, or invalid. More here:

Laurin, M., and P. D. Cantino. 2007. Second meeting of the
International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature: a report. Zool.
Scr. 36:109â117.

T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
Exopolis, Inc.
2894 Rowena Avenue Ste. B
Los Angeles, California 90039
The Dinosauricon: http://dino.lm.com
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