Open nomenclature from the palaeontology point of view
Wed, 19 Mar 2008 01:41:23 PDT
Hi all,

Quite an interesting debate in many ways that I will try to enlight from the palaeontologist point of view...

aff., cf. and gr., sp. nov. 1, etc... are some of the many abreviations used in binomial nomenclature in Paleontology (both palaeozoology and palaebotany) when there is problem with the "true" identity and affinities of a specimen.

All are considered as marking "open nomenclature",?outlines a preliminary stage of study and and indicates that the specimen concerned may change status in the future pending better understanding of its "biological significance".

They have been many disputes in the literature on the use of the various abreviations and how they should apply. In my concern, one of the main problems lies in the fact that neither the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, nor the International Code of Botanic Nomenclature make it clear of how aff., cf., gr., and others should be used...

Of course in Palaeontology the problem is somehow "easier" since the nomenclature and phylogeny, for obvious preservation problems, is mainly based on morphological features and their is most often no access to DNA data.

Hope it helps,


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