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Nomenclature and placental mammal phylogeny.

Asher RJ, Helgen KM - BMC Evol. Biol. (2010)

Bottom Line: Here, we recommend application of the principles of priority and stability, as laid down by G.G.We apply these principles to specific cases among placental mammals with broad relevance for taxonomy, and close with particular emphasis on the Afrotherian family Tenrecidae.We conclude that no matter how reconstructions of the Tree of Life change in years to come, systematists should apply new names reluctantly, deferring to those already published and maximizing consistency with existing nomenclature.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing St, CB2 3EJ UK. r.asher@zoo.cam.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
An issue arising from recent progress in establishing the placental mammal Tree of Life concerns the nomenclature of high-level clades. Fortunately, there are now several well-supported clades among extant mammals that require unambiguous, stable names. Although the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature does not apply above the Linnean rank of family, and while consensus on the adoption of competing systems of nomenclature does not yet exist, there is a clear, historical basis upon which to arbitrate among competing names for high-level mammalian clades. Here, we recommend application of the principles of priority and stability, as laid down by G.G. Simpson in 1945, to discriminate among proposed names for high-level taxa. We apply these principles to specific cases among placental mammals with broad relevance for taxonomy, and close with particular emphasis on the Afrotherian family Tenrecidae. We conclude that no matter how reconstructions of the Tree of Life change in years to come, systematists should apply new names reluctantly, deferring to those already published and maximizing consistency with existing nomenclature.

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Proposed taxonomy for afroinsectivoran mammals, maintaining common understanding of Tenrecidae [66] and priority of Tenrecoidea McDowell 1958 [27], based on the phylogeny of [62-64].
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Figure 2: Proposed taxonomy for afroinsectivoran mammals, maintaining common understanding of Tenrecidae [66] and priority of Tenrecoidea McDowell 1958 [27], based on the phylogeny of [62-64].

Mentions: Such a proposal for nomenclature within the extant Afroinsectivora is shown in Fig. 2. Here, Malagasy tenrecs are formally recognized in the Tenrecinae and mainland African tenrecs in the Potamogalinae. Spiny tenrecs are grouped in the Tenrecini, Geogale in the Geogalini, and other soft tenrecs in the Oryzorictini, with Limnogale recognized as a synonym of Microgale [62]. To date, the largest analysis of sequence data for living tenrecs [64] supports the placement of Geogale as sister taxon to Microgale (including Limnogale) and Oryzorictes. The possibility that one or more African fossils are more closely related to Geogale than to other tenrecs [63] justifies placement of the Miocene, African Parageogale with Geogale in the Geogalini. Further suprageneric groupings could be similarly be made within tenrecins and oryzorictins (e.g., Tenrecina for Tenrec and Hemicentetes). This arrangement better recognizes common use (cf. Tenrecidae of [66]) and priority (cf. Tenrecoidea McDowell 1958 [27]) than the alternative taxonomy [59,60] in which higher, rather than lower, ranks are used to recognize Malagasy tenrec monophyly. Furthermore, such a taxonomy for tenrecs is consistent with the analogous case of the tribe Hominini now used for Australopithecus, Paranthropus and other habitually bipedal primates, formerly referred to as "hominids", which are more closely related to Homo than to Pan or Gorilla [67].


Nomenclature and placental mammal phylogeny.

Asher RJ, Helgen KM - BMC Evol. Biol. (2010)

Proposed taxonomy for afroinsectivoran mammals, maintaining common understanding of Tenrecidae [66] and priority of Tenrecoidea McDowell 1958 [27], based on the phylogeny of [62-64].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2865478&req=5

Figure 2: Proposed taxonomy for afroinsectivoran mammals, maintaining common understanding of Tenrecidae [66] and priority of Tenrecoidea McDowell 1958 [27], based on the phylogeny of [62-64].
Mentions: Such a proposal for nomenclature within the extant Afroinsectivora is shown in Fig. 2. Here, Malagasy tenrecs are formally recognized in the Tenrecinae and mainland African tenrecs in the Potamogalinae. Spiny tenrecs are grouped in the Tenrecini, Geogale in the Geogalini, and other soft tenrecs in the Oryzorictini, with Limnogale recognized as a synonym of Microgale [62]. To date, the largest analysis of sequence data for living tenrecs [64] supports the placement of Geogale as sister taxon to Microgale (including Limnogale) and Oryzorictes. The possibility that one or more African fossils are more closely related to Geogale than to other tenrecs [63] justifies placement of the Miocene, African Parageogale with Geogale in the Geogalini. Further suprageneric groupings could be similarly be made within tenrecins and oryzorictins (e.g., Tenrecina for Tenrec and Hemicentetes). This arrangement better recognizes common use (cf. Tenrecidae of [66]) and priority (cf. Tenrecoidea McDowell 1958 [27]) than the alternative taxonomy [59,60] in which higher, rather than lower, ranks are used to recognize Malagasy tenrec monophyly. Furthermore, such a taxonomy for tenrecs is consistent with the analogous case of the tribe Hominini now used for Australopithecus, Paranthropus and other habitually bipedal primates, formerly referred to as "hominids", which are more closely related to Homo than to Pan or Gorilla [67].

Bottom Line: Here, we recommend application of the principles of priority and stability, as laid down by G.G.We apply these principles to specific cases among placental mammals with broad relevance for taxonomy, and close with particular emphasis on the Afrotherian family Tenrecidae.We conclude that no matter how reconstructions of the Tree of Life change in years to come, systematists should apply new names reluctantly, deferring to those already published and maximizing consistency with existing nomenclature.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing St, CB2 3EJ UK. r.asher@zoo.cam.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
An issue arising from recent progress in establishing the placental mammal Tree of Life concerns the nomenclature of high-level clades. Fortunately, there are now several well-supported clades among extant mammals that require unambiguous, stable names. Although the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature does not apply above the Linnean rank of family, and while consensus on the adoption of competing systems of nomenclature does not yet exist, there is a clear, historical basis upon which to arbitrate among competing names for high-level mammalian clades. Here, we recommend application of the principles of priority and stability, as laid down by G.G. Simpson in 1945, to discriminate among proposed names for high-level taxa. We apply these principles to specific cases among placental mammals with broad relevance for taxonomy, and close with particular emphasis on the Afrotherian family Tenrecidae. We conclude that no matter how reconstructions of the Tree of Life change in years to come, systematists should apply new names reluctantly, deferring to those already published and maximizing consistency with existing nomenclature.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus