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Re: Weird classification

On Tue, Dec 27, 2011 at 2:20 AM, Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com> wrote:
> 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.

That's only if you insist that all genera must be clades, which is not
a tenable approach under the rank-based codes. If every species must
have a genus, so must ancestral species.

That said, if it helps point out the absurdities of binomial
nomenclature, then it's doing some good. (Although what we really need
is an alternative for naming taxonomic units that offers immediate

T. Michael Keesey