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Re: sauropod

Mike Keesey wrote:

I actually like what's been done with _Lognkosauria_, _Lithostrotia_,
_Microraptoria_, etc.

And Turiasauria too.

Why use family-group taxa, with their endlessly
(and subjectively) changing suffixes when you can just give the clade
a nice, stable name?

Except that so many titanosaur families have already been named - Saltasauridae, Nemegtosauridae, Argyrosauridae, Nemegtosauridae, Antarctosauridae, Andesauridae, as well as Titanosauridae. Then there are converted clades like Opisthocoelicaudiidae (from -inae) and Aeolosauridae (from -ini). True, some of these groups were not regarded as titanosaurs when they were first created (e.g., Nemegtosauridae, Antarctosauridae, Opisthocoelicaudiinae). Nevertheless, all these names are available, so why not work them into sauropod phylogeny?

But I do take your point. I can see why coordinated family-level taxa pose a problem, due to ICZN entanglements - especially the need to preserve hierarchy (-oidea > -idae > -inae > -ini). Frankly, this is a royal pain in the butt, and a holdover from the days of Linnaean ranks. But if enough care is taken when framing new definitions, then most (but not all) problems can be avoided. Adding negative qualifiers certainly helps.

An even better solution would be if family-level groupings were abandoned altogether, so we would just have Saltasauria, Nemegtosauria, etc. No more names ending in -idae, -inae, -ini (though -oidea could be exempt, given that it is not always associated with "superfamily" rank). This way you could rearrange clade names ad nauseum in terms of relative inclusiveness, and not have worry about treading on the ICZN's toes.

I wrote:

It comes up in a clade with _Mendozasaurus_ and _Malawisaurus_ (88% bootstrap support - not bad at all), and the authors erect (and define) the new suprageneric clade Lognkosauria for this trio.

My bad. Lognkosauria was erected for _Futalognkosaurus_ and _Mendozasaurus_ only. _Malawisaurus_ is the sister taxon to Lognkosauria.



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