birding-aus ultrataxa

Subject: birding-aus ultrataxa
From: John Leonard <>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 12:02:53 +1000
For those who were interested, or offended by my remarks about the term
ultrataxa, here is what Richard Schodde says about it:

"How word gets around!  We thought a long time about a better term for the
geographically-based biodiversity units in birds, just as Australian
are within the human species, and came up with "ultrataxon" because it seemed
the best of a bad lot, at least to our minds. I would have preferred "bion"
that simple word has been reserved for the individual.  As for your own
about "infrataxon" - which is perfectly sensible - it depends upon the
that you read evolution as going.  If the units are seen as basal, as Cracraft
does, then infrataxon is perfectly right; but if you read them as terminal, as
the end points on the phylogenetic tree, then ultrataxon, meaning "beyond the
species", as we have explained in the introduction to the Directory - is also
justifiable. At least, that's how we argue it!"

John Leonard

John Leonard (Dr),
PO Box 243,
Woden, ACT 2606,

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