Are species real?

Geoff Read at NIWA.CO.NZ
Thu Apr 13 08:45:24 CDT 2006

Pierre Delaporte wrote:
> To answer a question of Ken Kinman : "But can one really say that the
> aardvark species is not real?", I would say: how do you know that there are not
> two 'real' species of aardwarks? Which would raise the question: what is your
> definition of "species" in general, or for aardwarks in particular? Just
> staring at some aardwarks out there will never answer such questions, however
> "obviously different" (and similar among them) aardwarks may intuitively seem.

Interestingly, there are purportedly two species of Tuatara reptile, which was
one of Ken's other examples of single very distinct relict taxa  with no near
relatives. The 2nd, Sphenodon guntheri,  had only a few hundred individuals
left on one island rock stack when 'confirmed' (it had been described earlier
but synonymised).

  Geoff Read < at>

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