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RE: Classification: A Definition



>>OK, thanks for your clear replies, I must admit it takes getting
>used to this new way of thinking (without any ranking I mean).

I'll buy that.

>>One more think though, not to be picky but: if applied consistently
>and rigorously, I think there should no longer be any use of
>'traditional-taxon-resembling' names when naming clades, such as the
>suffix -idae. It is suggestive of taxonomic ranking (such as family).
>Then again, I can imagine that it can be tempting and sometimes hard
>to avoid, particularly at the 'genus-species-level' (see yesterdays's
>follow-up discussion).

You're quite right, and even workers who are used to the idea of
rank-free taxa still tend to cringe when seeing one '-idae' within
another. I had to stop myself a couple of years ago on the cusp of
sending off a toxic message to the DML about the PhyloCode Testudines
classification paper in _Journal of Paleontology_ (I can't recall the
reference, unfortunately), because they had given clades containing
multiple "genera" but only one surviving "genus" names like
Pancarettochelys - I was about to moan about clade names formed like
such, until I realised I didn't have any actual _arguments_ to
support myself, and my only real argument was "the names just look
icky" ;-).

    Cheers,

        Christopher Taylor