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Re: Weird classification



On 26 December 2011 15:22, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:
> Several different issues here:
>
> 1) Lumping vs. Splitting: despite the general dinosaur community's
> disregard for Greg Paul's [from our opinion] very lumping classification,
> there are other paleontologists (notably invertebrate workers, but also
> some paleomammalogists) who regard the one-species-per-dinosaur-genus
> paradigm to be laughable. (I have actually seen them laugh about it...)

Let 'em laugh.  There is a good reason why extinct tetrapods in
general (not just dinosaurs) often go with the one-species-per-genus
approach, and that is because putting multiple species in a genus
commits to you the phylogenetic hypothesis that those species form a
clade to the exclusion of any other named animal.  We all know how
malleable extinct-tetrapod phylogenies are: why offer up such hostages
to fortune?  By placing each species in its own genus, what we
effectively do is use a uninomial nomenclature that is immune to
phylogenetic shifts.

If palaeomammalogists don't see that, so much the worse for them.
They are the ones who have to put up with their polyphyletic "genera"
or constantly changing names.

-- Mike.