Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 19 14:15:26 CST 2001

     The suffix Meta- means: after, higher, above, beyond, etc.  Metazoa and
Metaphyta are usually translated as Higher Animals and Higher Plants.  The
more primitive "lower" animals and plants remain in Protista.
     I doubt that anyone has ever proposed "Metamycota" for the true fungi
(well, somebody somewhere might have??), and Eumycota (true fungi) works
just fine.  Compared to the higher plants and animals, the eumycotans just
aren't generally considered very highly developed (no offense meant to
mycologists).  Back in 1992, Margulis decided it should be called Mychota
(sic).  After seeing how she classified protists in her 1990 Handbook of
Protoctista, I began ignoring her classifications, even though she made
major contributions with regard to endosymbiosis theory.
     Eumycota are very successful and apparently the most speciose of
protist groups, but once they were given kingdom status, then Chromista had
to be a separate kingdom, and then Archezoa, and others quickly followed.
Not to be outdone, it looks like we are going to have about a dozen
prokaryotic kingdoms (has the new "Bergey's Manual" started coming out
     I learned the 4 Kingdom system in the 60's, and it's still just as
natural and easy to learn as it was back then.  Ever since "fungi" got
bumped up, classifications of organisms have just gotten inflated and more
confusing.  Thus the lure of the simplistic 3 Urkingdoms (a.k.a. 3 Domains)
was hard for many to resist.  I shudder to think what PhyloCode might do at
these higher taxonomic levels---lots more formal names plus discarding
Linnean ranks-----the arthropods alone are going to be a nightmare.  Now I'm
depressed too.
                  ----------Ken Kinman
P.S.    Tomorrow's taxonomists may be sadly singing "What have they done to
my song" [read "classifications"].   Or "Tore down my house and put up a
parking lot".
       How I hate Mondays.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Tuesday and the first
day of Spring (or of Autumn for those of you south of the equator).
             -----HAPPY EQUINOX to all.
>From: Curtis Clark <jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU>
>Reply-To: Curtis Clark <jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU>
>Subject: Re: saprophytes/molds
>Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 09:12:48 -0800
>Here's a question for Ken/anyone:
>It's Metaphyta and Metazoa but Eumycota. Why? "Associated with plants",
>"associated with animals", but "typical fungi".
>And does anyone know where and by whom these terms were first used?
>Curtis Clark       
>Biological Sciences Department             Voice (909) 869-4062
>California State Polytechnic University      FAX (909) 869-4078
>Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                 jcclark at
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