[Taxacom] Homo sapiens

Laurent Raty l.raty at skynet.be
Fri Jan 15 11:14:12 CST 2016


> Evidence to the contrary would be much easier to find (e.g., if the
> original description includes characters not represented in Linnaeus
> himself).

- The very first line of the species descriptions states explicitly that 
Homo sapiens is variable (with culture and location). A single specimen 
cannot be variable, hence the concept that Linnaeus had in mind at that 
point can only have been based on a series.

- On p.23 (http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/25033815 -- which, again, 
is about the whole species and outside the description of any variant; 
indentations make this clearer in the 12th ed.: 
http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/42946225 ; but this is obvious from 
the content of the text in the 10th ed. as well), two types of genitalia 
are described, one of which ("s. Vulva gibba, compressiuscula": "or with 
a gibbous, slightly compressed vulva") presumably departed from those of 
Linnaeus. On p.24 (http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/25033816 ), the 
description refers to multiple males ("maribusque": dative plural of 
"mas" + conjunction "-que") with a hairy chin, and multiple females 
("feminis": dative plural of "femina") with nymphae (=inner labia), a 
clitoris and two pectoral mammae, which again presumably didn't fit 
Linnaeus' own morphology. Hence the concept he had in mind must have 
been based on a series that included individuals of both sexes.

(That being said: ambiguities might arguably (?) remain, if it is 
assumed that Linnaeus' description encompassed the variants he included 
in the species (which seems likely), and if what we are after is 
evidence that he included more than one specimen in the species, with 
these variants excluded.)

Wouldn't assuming a "holotype by default", in the absence of a 
designation, and in a situation making it (even remotely) possible that 
the taxon was based on more than a single specimen, always be in 
"violation" of Recommendation 73F (which 73.1.2 points to)?

Laurent -

On 01/15/2016 09:02 AM, Richard Pyle wrote:
> Hi Doug,
> Well, that depends.  My read of 73.1.2 is that evidence outside the
> original work may be used to “help IDENTIFY the specimen”, but that
> doesn’t contradict the fact that the original work itself must either
> state or imply that the nominal species-group taxon is based on a
> single specimen. As Linnaeus 1758 does neither, there is no need to
> “identify” a stated or implied single specimen that represents a
> holotype by monotypy.  Now, even if we assume that the second
> sentence of Art. 73.1.2 contradicts the first sentence, in that it
> allows for evidence outside the original publication to IMPLY (can’t
> really “state”) that H. sapiens sapiens represents a taxon based on a
> single specimen, we still would need to find some evidence that
> Linneaus based that nominal species-group name on a single specimen.
> Evidence to the contrary would be much easier to find (e.g., if the
> original description includes characters not represented in Linnaeus
> himself). So either way – even with an unrealistically liberal
> interpretation of Art 73.1.2 – I see no way to establish a holotype
> by monotypy.
> That said, I agree this is little more than an intellectual game from
> which Code-nerds like ourselves derive pleasure in playing.
> In any case, it seems your original premise is likely correct after
> all. Have we received input from five Commissioners yet? :-)
> Aloha,
> Rich
> From: Doug Yanega [mailto:dyanega at ucr.edu] Sent: Thursday, January
> 14, 2016 9:21 AM To: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org;
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Homo sapiens
> On 1/14/16 10:36 AM, Richard Pyle wrote:
> Hi Doug,
> One issue with your interpretation that Linnaeus can serve as the
> Holotype: Holotypes must be designated within the original work (Art.
> 73.1.3). Linneaus neither stated nor implied in the original
> publication that the species-group taxon is based on a single
> specimen, so we cannot retroactively infer him as the holotype by
> monotypy (Art. 73.1.2).  The "ANY EVIDENCE" (your emphasis) component
> of Art. can only be used in the context of name-bearing
> types fixed subsequently.
> Actually, that's not true: 73.1.2 explicitly cross-references
> and says that external evidence CAN be used to subsequently
> identify the holotype:
> " 73.1.2. If the nominal species-group taxon is based on a single
> specimen, either so stated or implied in the original publication,
> that specimen is the holotype fixed by monotypy (see Recommendation
> 73F
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=73#rec73F>
> ). If the taxon was established before 2000 evidence derived from
> outside the work itself may be taken into account [Art.
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=&article=72#4.1.1>
> ] to help identify the specimen."
> I was applying the "holotype by implicit monotypy" argument in this
> case, as you note, and I read this Article as supporting that
> interpretation. Like I said, if you can't positively identify any
> syntypes, and none were mentioned, then it IS implied (to me) that
> the species was based on one specimen, which therefore is the
> holotype by default under 73.1.2. Mike Ivie objects to the fact that
> Linnaeus' physical corpus is effectively lost, but since we can't
> legally designate a neotype, that's irrelevant - lots of species have
> lost types that can't be replaced until and unless there comes to be
> a serious dispute about the taxon's identity.
> How many syntypes can dance on the head of a pin? ;-)
> Peace,

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