[Taxacom] paraphyletic holotypes

Michael Heads m.j.heads at gmail.com
Sat Jun 30 23:05:22 CDT 2012

Hi Ken,

I guess this is Brown et al. (2007 BMC Evol. Biol.). They either don't
understand the usual meaning of 'paraphyletic' or are deliberately twisting
it. The groups they call paraphyletic are actually haplotypes from other
phenotypes that are nested, in the genetic analysis, in traditional (pelage
pattern) subspecies, rendering the subspecies paraphyletic. I guess they
don't want to admit that the two traditional subspecies (Masai
(tippelskirchi) and Reticulated (reticulata)) are paraphyletic because it
complicates their main argument - that all the subspecies are in fact
distinct species. Their basis for this is 'The concordant genetic and
phenotypic divisions amonggiraffe subspecies', but their map shows that the
divisions aren't concordant.

Note that the clades they refer to throughout the paper and in the map are
the traditional phenotypic groups, not the genetic clades that they
themselves found! E.g. it would be nice to know which populations of the
'Masai phenotype' went with the South African ones, and which ones form the
basal clade.

Michael Heads

Wellington, New Zealand.

My new book, *Molecular panbiogeography of the tropics*:

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