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Re: Inglourious New Papers

Mike Keesey <keesey@gmail.com> wrote:

> Maybe it's a member of Clade _Sinraptoridae_ as well as a
> member of
> Family Metriacanthosauridae (=Family Sinraptoridae).

Having *both* Sinraptoridae and Metriacanthosauridae, with one inside the 
other, is also against ICZN rules.  Because they both end in -idae, they would 
both be treated as families by the ICZN. 

Also, having both Sinraptoridae and Metriacanthosauridae, with one inside the 
other, strikes me as, well... weird.  

This takes us back to Mickey's original point: with PhyloCode not yet 
officially implemented, should we obey ICZN rules regarding family-level taxa?  
I say not.  IMHO, PhyloCode or no PhyloCode, there's no point having a family 
Metriacanthosauridae unless it has been phylogenetically defined.  

> In general, I'm in favor of considering the alternatives
> before
> phylogenetically defining a name with a rank-associated
> suffix,
> because of situations like these.

I definitely take your point.  ICZN and PhyloCode each have their own rules, 
and at the moment we're trying to jump through both sets of hoops.  It just 
isn't working.  

I'm in favor of abandoning all rank-associated suffixes, and replacing 
'families' like Sinraptoridae with non-ranked taxa, such as Sinraptorida or 
Sinraptoria.  I know this is a radical idea, but it means that clades can 
expand or contract without stepping on the toes of the ICZN (such as having one 
family inside another, which is an ICZN no-no).  This trend has already 
started, with recent clades such as Turiasauria and Elasmaria erected to 
receive a very small number of taxa.  In times past these would have been 
family-level taxa (like Turiasauridae or Macrogryphosauridae), but these days 
many authors shy away from erecting taxa ending in -idae.  You can see why.