[Taxacom] New Paper on Mollusca

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Tue Jan 22 19:11:08 CST 2013

Geoff, I didn't say that a simple placename would suffice, I said that a verbal description is safer than a numerical identifier alone ...

From: Geoffrey Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> 
Cc: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
Sent: Wednesday, 23 January 2013 2:02 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] New Paper on Mollusca

Okay, but so are placenames (if there is one) garbled or they become
unknown. Even if an author got the transcription of a label correct way
back it might be unrecognisable today.  Where is Narcon? People say its an
error for Marion I, but proof is lacking. Where is Aibuhit? Tell me, I'd
love to know (clue - probably Palau). Expedition ship captains were
probably better at getting the lat/longs than (say) Darwin was in
recording local names he heard.

Then I've encountered people who think (without a published lat/long) that
the Auckland Islands must be around Auckland city somewhere. Well it makes
sense I suppose ...

On Wed, January 23, 2013 1:01 pm, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> This is exactly why verbal descriptions are crucial, as numerical
> identifiers are prone to error ...
> Stephen
> ________________________________
> From: Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
> To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:30 PM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] New Paper on Mollusca
> Can only agree on the importance of maps, and of lat longs for type
> localities together with placenames, particularly if Asian names which
> westerners may misunderstand, or have no easy handle on.  And that authors
> check crucial lat longs before publishing. So simple to do online at
> Geolocater, but I've recently seen an example where a marine type locality
> was apparently deep inland in the USA (decimal lat/long but both were
> badly wrong) instead of offshore in the Monterey Canyon as it was supposed
> to be.  Other trad lat longs have been completely incomprehensible
> (minutes greater than 60, etc).
> Geoff
> On Wed, January 23, 2013 1:37 am, John Grehan wrote:
>> Ken,
>> In my view a paper does not have to be a monograph to warrant maps.
>> There
>> can be great biogeographic information even in a paper of this kind.
>> Perhaps its 'an axe to grind' but still, I think its a good axe - that
>> many
>> taxonomic and systematic papers would be greatly enhanced by including
>> maps. As for 'venting' my frustration, why not? You feel at home venting
>> your frustration over cladistics all the time. And here I was just
>> saying
>> that the addition of a map would be an improvement - and not just for
>> the
>> genus overall, but the new species also. And yes, a map for every new
>> species would be desirable in my opinion. I have just come across a new
>> species description that recorded its two known localities in Taiwan as
>> Mts. Shūehshan, Mt. Anmashan. I am, not surprisingly, not familiar with
>> either locality. I did a Google Earth search and came up with names that
>> were not identical so I am not sure and so I will have to follow up with
>> an
>> atlas or more detailed web search - which I will do, but the point is
>> that
>> a map would have made the information immediately accessible.
>> Heads has pointed out (to me or on the list, I do not remember) that
>> many
>> molecular papers have given attention to providing maps - perhaps more
>> so
>> than many morphological studies. With a map one is able, at a glance, to
>> perceive information that otherwise would take some time to compile
>> unless
>> one was already familiar with the coordinates of the localities. I have
>> often seen efforts by authors to make taxonomic papers of broader
>> interest
>> or relevance by adding in some speculations (usually empirically
>> baseless)
>> about biogeography. Maps would also meet that goal and provide more data
>> at
>> the same time.
>> John

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