Not so long ago there was discussion on birding-aus in relation to
albatross taxonomy, and in particular the analysis offered in
Robertson, C.J.R. & Nunn, G.B.(1998). Towards a new taxonomy for
albatrosses. Pp.13 - 19 in Albatross biology and conservation. Surrey Beatty
& Sons, Sydney.
which split them wholesale. Of course, Nunn was working within the
phylogentic species concept. But he refused to publish or to supply the
distances matrix on which his trees were based. So those of us who follow
the multidimensional Biological Species Concept were not sure whether the
splits would be valid outside the PSC.
Michael Wink and I found Nunn's cytochrome b sequences in genbank, and ran
the distance matrix. This shows clearly that NONE of the splits are valid.
This include Amsterdam Albatross, which is clearly a subspecies of exulans.
Associate Professor John M. Penhallurick<>
Phone BH( 61 2) 6201 2346 AH (61 2) 62585428
FAX (61 2) 6258 0426 Mobile 0408 585 428
Snail Mail Division of Communication and Education,
University of Canberra,A.C.T.2601, AUSTRALIA
OR (Private) PO Box 3469, BMDC, BELCONNEN, ACT 2617, AUSTRALIA
"I'd rather be birding!"
"Vivat,crescat,floreat Ornithologia" Hartert,Vog.pal.Fauna,p.2016.
"Sunt lacrimae rerum." Virgil, Aeneid,i,462.
Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)