[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Thu Jan 14 14:40:29 CST 2010

>animals (motile, non-chlorophyllose, standard definition)

by what standards? Very bad "definition" by cladistic standards: non-photosynthetic = plesiomorphy, motility = homoplasy

add multicellular (=apomorphy, though biphyletic - also an apomorphy of plants) and you get a better definition, equivalent to Metazoa (with the Parazoa thrown in while you blink), and probably monophyletic, but quite apart from any issues to do with vernacular names, should we call such a clade (scientific name) Animalia or Metazoa?

From: Richard Zander [Richard.Zander at mobot.org]
Sent: Friday, 15 January 2010 5:10 a.m.
To: Stephen Thorpe; Kenneth Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Good point. I looked up a recent summary of the Tree of Life, and indeed
animals (motile, non-chlorophyllose, standard definition) are
paraphyletic to plants. This has nomenclatural significance in that the
ICZN therefore takes precedence over the ICBN. That will keep
researchers busy finding new names for newly discovered homonyms.

Richard H. Zander
Voice: 314-577-0276
Missouri Botanical Garden
PO Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
richard.zander at mobot.org
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/
and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site:

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Stephen Thorpe
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:37 PM
To: Kenneth Kinman; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

An interesting question (touched on before) is what are animals? Are
animals monophyletic? There is a tricky semantic issue here, involving
what to say now that the Protozoa have been thrown out of the old
Animalia. Did we discover that: (1) Protozoa aren't animals after all;
or (2) Protozoa are animals, but animals are a polyphyletic grouping of
Protozoa and Metazoa. I prefer (2), but they are very reluctant at
Wikispecies, for example, to deny that lions and insects and things
belong to a clade properly called Animalia, so they prefer (1)...

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