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RE: Mesozoic roots of parrots and passerine birds
Linguistics be damned, David. You should know by now that people love their
little conventions (he says oh so disparagingly). Additionally, some
nomenclature exists outside of the "proper" formulation of Latin and Greek, and
in some cases is impossible despite the ICZN mandating it. "Eufalconimorphae"
(if it gets published, which it hasn't -- on paper, where it _matters_ right
now) is a unique combination of words rather than a modification of another
name, despite the apparent need to only slap "Eu-" where another name already
exists (e.g., *Eucostapolygnathus*).
The convention of this nomenclature is, in many ways, related to the sense that
having -iformes, -omorpha, -idae, -aceae, etc. persist in modern biological
nomenclature. If it becomes used enough, it becomes entrenched. The only way to
fight it is to begin developing nomenclature deliberately in defiance of the
convention, using your own choices, and to likely reject the use of a
convention in your nomenclature. The nesting system of nomenclature suggested
by many adherents of the PhyloCode (not including myself, but including de
Quieroz and Keesey) defies the property of the nomenclature in general by using
mechanical elements without the sense of "real" nomenclature, including the use
of symbols or (sometimes) internal capitalization, which just looks ODD and
off-putting at first. But it seeks to set a precedence for convention, and when
THAT becomes prevalent, regardless of whether it sets aside further
nomenclature, we'll come around to people who are forced to constrain their
nomenclature toward unimaginative and formulaic names.
My preference is that we are NOT constrained by automatic stem or crown
affices, nesting sets of suffices, etc. This means defying the properties of
the conventions being offered in lieu of the conventions in place, and defying
those as well.
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
> Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 23:18:51 +0200
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Mesozoic roots of parrots and passerine birds
> > > Don't worry, Eufalconimorphae won't ever appear again. Like
> > > Pegasoferae.
> > Pegasoferae is one of the few names dreamed up by molecular
> > researchers that actually shows a bit of creativity. What do you
> > call a clade that includes bats, horses, and Ferae (i.e., Carnivora
> > plus whatever it's closest to, in this case pangolins)? Combine the
> > bats and horses into winged horses, and then combine again! I think
> > that's pretty clever.
> Oh yes, I love it.
> And it has 5150 Google hits. I don't think it's going away.
> ...Oh. Do I sense mistrust of the use of retroposon insertions in
> molecular phylogenetics? That would be unfortunate. Convergent insertion
> of the same retroposon in the same place of two genomes is right next to
> impossible. All that can happen to confound phylogenetics is incomplete
> lineage sorting -- which has been detected this way in the origins of
> Scrotifera and (as the new paper shows) Neoaves. I bet these were
> radiations into the empty world of the earliest Paleocene.
> > (Eufalconimorphae might be even worse than these, though....)
> Fortunately, the PhyloCode is against this monstrosity: the name
> Eufalconimorphae implies a "Falconimorphae" which appears not to exist.
> I also hate the -ae in Psittacopasserae and Galloanserae. There is no
> way you can get from *Passer* or *Anser* to -ae. It should be
> Psittacopasseres and Gallanseres (without the stupid vowel cluster). But
> neither the PhyloCode nor the ICZN say anything about these.