[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Phylogenetic taxonomic definitions in Xiaotingia paper



 I do not want to get to the point as in when phylogenetics was
 introduced to mammalian taxonomy, and every new "arrangement" --
 excluding this or that taxon only from the _topology_ -- came with a
 new name.

Oh, neither do I. That's the other extreme.

(Besides, it wasn't actually phylogenetic nomenclature. They didn't name clades, they named phylogenetic hypotheses.)

 <Have you noticed how the term "birds" is used in the discussion
 triggered by *Xiaotingia*? It's used as a branch-based name for
 everything closer to Neornithes than to traditional non-birds like
 velociraptorines, dromaeosaurines, troodontids, oviraptorosaurs and
 the like. That's how the definition of Avialae by Xu et al. maps to
 their tree. I think Aves should be defined that way (more carefully,
 means, with more external specifiers); that's the closest thing to a
 traditional meaning it has, and it literally means "birds" not just
 in Latin, but also in (higher styles of) today's Spanish and
 Portuguese.>

 This supports the idea that "Aves" should always refer to the
 esoteric "birds."

Well, if it doesn't (as far as possible), confusion will inevitably result, at least for a decade or three, and avoidable discontinuity with the literature will also result. Such outcomes should be avoided, and indeed the PhyloCode says so in several places.