[Taxacom] Animalia or Metazoa?

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Fri Jul 24 21:32:52 CDT 2009

Jim: that's a very general comment, but specifically:

do we really need a "good name" for the diphyletic grouping of  
Metazoans and animal-like protists?

Two reasons why we might do:

(1) both come under the Zoological Code of Nomenclature, and

(2) at least the journal Zootaxa also publishes on what it still calls  
"Protozoa" (but then, also still uses "Pisces"!)

At any rate, even if we do need such a name, does it have to be  
"Animalia"? I am not denying some pragmatic utility to having a name  
for the above diphyletic clade, and indeed I would suggest calling  
them "animaloids", or something! I just think that there has been some  
"slight of hand" in the big Hennigian reshuffle, whereby what was  
subkingdoms Metazoa + Parazoa, suddenly became "kingdom Metazoa"  
(yuck!), and the old subkingdom Metazoa now seems to be called  
Eumetazoa, leaving the poor animals out in the (Hennigian) cold!!!  
Animals are such a central concept in everyday life, that surely we  
can save their status as a scientific concept (i.e., monophyly) from a  
merely semantic assassination???!!!

There are similar issues with the names Insecta and Hexapoda...


Quoting Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>:

> Which comes back to Paddy's previous post on social 'palatability' of
> names and concepts.
> There are heaps of people around the world who profess an interest in
> 'pteridophytes', even 'Pteridophyta'.  Even though based on compelling
> evidence, it seems to be phylogenetically quite meaningless, dare I
> say 'wrong', to do so.  But, as a concept it is meaningful to them in
> their context...
> jim
> On Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 9:40 AM, Stephen  
> Thorpe<s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz> wrote:
>  [reply] that's because the "broader grouping" is diphyletic, and some
>> would argue that we don't need "good names" for non-monophyletic
>> groupings. There is no reason why the name Animalia can't be used in
>> exactly the same sense as Metazoa, so it is no more or less precise ...
>> Use of Metazoa merely alienates the general public, who at least have
>> some understanding of what an animal is...
> --
> _________________
> Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
> http://www.google.com/profiles/jim.croft
> ... in pursuit of the meaning of leaf ...
> ... 'All is leaf' ('Alles ist Blatt') - Goethe

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