[Taxacom] Type specimen

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Sat May 18 10:21:40 CDT 2013


It is interesting (to me at least) to see how many speak authoritatively on
the code only to disagree with each other over the same information (the
code). It seems that rules begat their own scope for confusion. And please
do not interpret this as saying get rid of the code or ignore it or
anything like that. Its just a wry observation on the nature of science
(where scientists may disagree completely with reference to the meaning of
same information)

I am not an expert on the code and don't have it in front of me. Is there
not something in the code that refers to accessibility to the type? How
would this apply to the remains of Linneaus?

I have seen in hominid systematics the problem of accessibility is very
serious as certain researchers who do not belong to the right clique are
denied access. The other pervasive problem for hominid fossil taxa is the
identification of fossil taxa as belonging to a certain taxon even though
there is no matching element to the holotype where that holotype only
consists of a partial fragment (e.g a jaw bone or a skull cap).

John Grehan


On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM, Francisco Welter-Schultes
<fwelter at gwdg.de>wrote:

> Not necessary to repeat this all the time, Stephen.
>
> Art. 72.4.1 does not apply because the nominal taxon Homo sapiens had a
> description.
> You must consult the original source and read the text thoroughly.
>
> L. 1758, p. 20:
> "Sapiens. I. H. diurnus; varians cultura, loca"
>
> "H[omo]. diurnus" (= species of the genus Homo, active at daytime) was a
> description.
>
> Since the nominal subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens had a description, the
> discussion about ferus, americanus, europaeus and the others (who have
> their own types) has no bearing on the name-bearing type of the nominal
> taxon Homo sapiens.
>
> I agree with those who argue that Stearn (1959: 4) validly designated Carl
> von Linné's remains in Uppsala as lectotype for Homo sapiens.
>
> My conclusion is in agreement with the one published by David Notton and
> Chris Stringer on the ICZN website.
> http://iczn.org/content/who-type-homo-sapiens
>
> They argued that the text from p. 21 "Habitat inter Tropicos..." until p.
> 24 "...Pedes Talis incedentes" would also refer to the nominal taxon H.
> sapiens. This seems implicit from the contents, but it was not explicitly
> marked and seem from the style of the work it could also be argued that
> this referred to monstruosus.
>
>
>
> Some aspects from Doug's arguments:
>
> I do not agree with Doug's interpretation of the terms "included by" as
> being in contrast to "examined by".
>
> Art. 72.1.1 defines the type series as "all the specimens on which the
> author established a nominal species-group taxon".
>
> > If one chooses to claim that every human being Linnaeus met
> > during his lifetime was a syntype, then the same logic would apply to
> > every cat, dog, horse, chicken, sparrow, etc. that Linnaeus saw prior to
> > publishing.
>
> The cats that Linnaeus saw himself before 1758 were in agreement with Art.
> 72.1.1 and formed part of the type series, in my interpretation of the
> Code. The cats that he saw after 1758 not.
> The intensity of examination and degree of thoroughness of study cannot be
> a criterion for a nomenclatural status. Only presence and absence can be a
> criterion.
>
> > That's why the wording of 72.4 is so important; it does not
> > matter how many humans Linnaeus saw in his leftime, only how many he
> > included when writing his description -
>
> Temporal aspects cannot be taken into account. The description can be
> written 10 years after an author saw an animal.
>
> Art. 72.4.1 cannot contradict Art. 72.1.1.
> Also in the Glossary we read "on which the original author bases a new
> nominal species-group taxon."
>
> > since most of those were
> > described as variants, they are also (by definition) excluded.
>
> A specimen that is syntype of one nominal taxon, can also be a syntype of
> another nominal taxon.
> The problem we have in Art. 72.4.1 has the nature of an unintended gap in
> the Code that should be erased in the next edition. Name-bearing types of
> subordinate variants should also belong the nominal taxon if the nominal
> taxon would otherwise remains without types.
> I left a note in Gary's ICZN Wiki (20 Oct 2008) to fix this problem.
>
> I left another note today that the basic definition of the type series in
> Art. 72.1.1, Art. 72.4.1 and the Glossary should be aligned. I would
> prefer the form used in Art. 72.1.1.
> I also suggested to add an example:
>
> Linnaeus (1758) established the nominal taxon Sciurus vulgaris for the
> Eurasian red squirrel. All live and dead specimens of Eurasian red
> squirrels that Linnaeus ever saw before 1758 formed directly part of the
> type series.
>
> This should in the future exclude such misunderstandings.
>
> Francisco
>
>
>
> > I repeat: there is no type series for Homo sapiens. There is no holotype,
> > and there can be no lectotype. Linnaeus partitioned H. sapiens into named
> > races, with no nominotypical race ...
> >
> > Stephen
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu>
> > To: taxacom <TAXACOM at MAILMAN.NHM.KU.EDU>
> > Sent: Saturday, 18 May 2013 1:23 PM
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Type specimen
> >
> >
> > On 5/17/13 6:05 PM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> >> Actually, no! There can be no type series for Homo sapiens. Linnaeus
> >> split it up into named variants, which left no room for "typical" H.
> >> sapiens. No specimens qualify for type status. The availability of the
> >> name is unaffected, however ...
> >>
> > Homo sapiens sapiens is defined via all the descriptions (from something
> > like 5 pages of text) NOT explicitly assigned to any of his 6
> > availably-named subgroups; as such, even though there were no explicitly
> > included specimens, his own person is implied as the specimen so
> > described. This is the basic conclusion that David Notton has put forth
> > elsewhere, with the exception that he claimed Linnaeus was a lectotype
> > (which is impossible, given that there were no other included
> > specimens). If one chooses to claim that every human being Linnaeus met
> > during his lifetime was a syntype, then the same logic would apply to
> > every cat, dog, horse, chicken, sparrow, etc. that Linnaeus saw prior to
> > publishing. That's why the wording of 72.4 is so important; it does not
> > matter how many humans Linnaeus saw in his leftime, only how many he
> > included when writing his description - and since most of those were
> > described as variants, they are also (by definition) excluded. The only
> > specimen left to represent saapiens sapiens is Linnaeus.
> >
> > --
> > Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology      Entomology Research Museum
> > Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314    skype: dyanega
> > phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
> >               http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
> >   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
> >         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
> >
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> >
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>
>
> Francisco Welter-Schultes
> Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
> Phone +49 551 395536
> http://www.animalbase.org
>
>
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> The Taxacom Archive back to 1992 may be searched with either of these
> methods:
>
> (1) by visiting http://taxacom.markmail.org
>
> (2) a Google search specified as:  site:
> mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here
>
> Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
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