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Re: Megalania question - DNA

On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM, John Scanlon
<riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au> wrote:
> One of the conclusions Molnar (2004) reached about _Megalania prisca_ is
> that it is a species of _Varanus_, i.e. he sunk the genus. Nobody since
> Fejervary, afaik, has argued for a phylogenetic position outside _Varanus_,
> so it was about time this was done formally. 'Megalania' is a beautiful word
> though, and I'm all for keeping it around as the 'common name' for _Varanus
> priscus_ (Owen).

Well, it may not be too late to save it in some way. Under the
zoological code, it can be used for a subgenus (_Varanus (Megalania)
priscus_). And under the phylogenetic code (still in development), it
could be  used for a clade, say, for everything closer to _Varanus
priscus_ than to any extant _Varanus_. (I'm not familiar with varanid
phylogeny, so I have no idea if either of these ideas are of any real
use, but....)
T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
Exopolis, Inc.
2894 Rowena Avenue Ste. B
Los Angeles, California 90039