Re: Incipient species

Subject: Re: Incipient species
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 12:42:58 +1000 (EST)
i.campbell> I had a look at the Sibley & Monroe's incipient species list. 
i.campbell> Are these any different from sub-species or races? How do 
i.campbell> we treat this list? > 

INCIPIENT is the adjective from 'inception', and refers to something in 
the 'early stages' of a process.  My understanding of this term is that 
it is used to describe groups within a species (call them races or 
subspecies or whatever) that are early along the way to becoming distinct 
species, or at the beginning of their long trek of speciation.

What I find strange about this is that these distinctions are made by 
humans, not necessarily by the birds, so it is all rather arbitrary.  But 
I suppose the term means that the birds are changing, becoming different, 
rather than that we are changing the ground-rules for specific status.

I'm not a biologist, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

Russell Woodford

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