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Re: Sauropodz r kewl WAS: silly conversation on 2012 US presidential race

> One of the Linnean system's main benefits is having ranks which
> illustrate the magnitude or size of a grouping.

They pretend to illustrate the size of a group, but they do no such thing. There are families with one species, and there are families with seventeen thousand.

Ranks are actively misleading.

 Lacerta (lizards; nowadays just sand lizards and kin) included
 caimans (Lacerta crocodilus) and salamanders (Lacerta salamandra).

All crocodylians were included in the species *Lacerta crocodilus*, hence its name, and all salamanders & newts were included in the species *Lacerta salamandra* till Linnaeus and his student Österdam described *Siren lacertina* in 1766.

However, one reason why Linnaeus's genera were so large was that the rank of family hadn't been invented yet. Kingdom, class, order, genus, species, variety -- this list was exhaustive, and Linnaeus even made a major (and majorly silly) philosophical point of having exactly five ranks below that of kingdom.

 Simia (no longer used as a genus)

Do you happen to know why? It's a mystery to me -- *Simia* can't be a junior synonym of anything else!

 (Can't think of any maniraptors assigned to Megalosaurus, but I'm
 probably forgetting something.)

IIRC, various isolated maniraptoran teeth were assigned to *Megalosaurus*. And *Velociraptor* was originally included in Megalosauridae, IIRC.