5 Kingdoms

Kipling Will kww4 at CORNELL.EDU
Tue Sep 14 10:16:41 CDT 1999

Bill Shear wrote:

> If we recognize Fungi, Plantae and Animalia, then Protoctista has to be
> broken up into gosh knows how many kingdoms.

I can't see why we should insist on naming every node. If three
apparently monophyletic groups can be called kingdoms then the names
applied are maximally informative and very useful. There is nothing to
gain by formalizing a kingdom name for the paraphyletic grade of phyla
below them. But as far as i can see almost every group is more or less
this way. The pattern in nature just isn't neat and tidy. If it was our
work would have been done by now.


Kipling Will
2144 Comstock Hall
Dept. of Entomology
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
The grand fact of the natural subordination of organic beings in groups
under groups, which, from its familiarity, does not always sufficiently
strike us, is in my judgement thus explained.  -Darwin

More information about the Taxacom mailing list