Main Taxonomic Term Confusion Discussion

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08:16:16 AM Aug 19th 2014
Does anyone else think the page should be rewritten with a greater emphasis on cladistics?
04:03:57 AM Feb 1st 2014
Are phyla and divisions really the same thing? IIRC, Maniraptora was designated as a division at one point, and if the two really are synonymous, that's taking MANIAC propaganda a bit too far.
05:00:30 AM Feb 1st 2014
They are the same thing as far as I know, just that "divisions" is used in plants and "phyla" elsewhere.
09:00:08 AM Sep 17th 2012
Some examples seem excessively nitpicky. For example, "class" can be a generic word meaning "group" in addition to being a scientific term, so calling a phylum a "class" in a work intended for younger readers isn't inherently inaccurate.
11:51:54 PM Oct 22nd 2010
edited by endlessnostalgia
I think there may be a justification for these:

  • The ikran in Avatar apparently have the scientific name Pterodactylus giganteus. No. This is wrong. Being members of the genus Pterodactylus would mean that they're small pterosaurs from Earth's Late Jurassic period. For those not in the know, it's actually a four-winged dragon-like beast from a moon in the Alpha Centauri system. So yeah...
    • The Na'vi themselves are classified as Homo pandora, which would mean that they are closely related to humans. As we know they evolved from some sort of alien lemur creature, and not hominids transported from Earth, this is wrong.

From what I know, codes for Zoological and Botanical nomenclature allow homonym genuses between themselves. Maybe if alien species were discovered it would be valid to have homonym taxa with terrestrial species? Of course, this would be up to the discretion to taxonomists, but if it can be used for Earth species, the possibility of it repeating for alien species would render these examples invalid, in my opinon. What do you think?
12:37:16 PM Aug 16th 2011
  • That is correct. To be precise, taxon names must be unique within a kingdom, but can be reused in different kingdoms. So if Pandoran "animals" were classed as a new kingdom (as would be sensible, given that they are completely unrelated to Earth animals), then reusing genus names such as Homo and Pterodactylus would be permitable. But probably not advisable, at least for similar-looking creatures, because it would give the false impression that there were related.
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