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RE: H. cinera question

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Posted by: batrachos at Wed Jul 23 17:38:45 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by batrachos ]  
   

The Pseudies do all breed earlier in the year than do the sympatric Hyla, and they all have darkly-pigmented testes (presumably an adaptation to encourage spermatazoal development in cool weather). There's overlap, of course- peepers are usually still going when the grays start up- but as a generality it holds well, at least here in the east. I don't know much about the western hylids.

I share your frustration with under-supported conclusions touted as fact by taxonomists, and with the silliness of many cladistic classifications. However, I don't think it is cladistic theory itself that is the problem so much as the fact that people try to use it with Linnaean nomenclature- a case of utter incompatibility.

So- all species belong to one and only one genus by Linnaean rules, and all species are derived from a common ancestor. Therefore all genera are derived from other genera. Yet cladistics does not permit paraphyly, so logically all species must belong to a single genus. The obvious solution is to allow genera to be nested- the genera Pseudacris and Acris would be within the genus Hyla, for example- but this is disallowed by Linnaean rules. The cladists have tried to get around this by concentrating on terminal taxa and pretending that ancestral species do not exist, thereby creating a taxonomy based on which species happen to still be alive. This is foolish.

Clearly a new nomenclatural system is the solution. I know Phylocode has been put forth; I don't know enough about it to really evaluate it.


   

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