[Taxacom] Very bad paraphyly

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Mon Apr 6 09:32:37 CDT 2009

Dear All,
     What needs to be done to eventually convince strict cladists to
accept occasional paraphyly is to clean up all the bad paraphyly out
there.  This morning I discovered such a case in mammals.
      The genus Octomys is a perfectly good genus.  However, the
polyploid "genera" Tympanoctomys and Pipanacoctomys almost certainly
make it paraphyletic, and this is completely unacceptable.  They should
all be regarded as species within Octomys.  I have never regarded
Tympanoctomys as a full genus, and I frankly don't know why the 3rd
Edition of Mammal Species of the World does so.  Likewise the more
recently described Pipanacotomys (in 2000) should have been described as
a subgenus at most.  As one who supports occasional paraphyly, I find
this kind of paraphyly highly embarrassing (even though it doesn't
involve a major, widespread taxon).
           --------Ken Kinman    

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