Taxonomy (and the purpose of Species names)

To: "Baus" <>
Subject: Taxonomy (and the purpose of Species names)
From: "Graham Turner" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 12:16:42 +1000
There does seem to be an incresing trend for splitting species based on DNA analysis, to the point where former 'species' are split along geographic boundaries because the animals are indistinguishable in the hand. The brown / agile antechinus example comes to mind, sorry can't think of a bird example. These changes seem to be readily accepted.

However, 'lumping' seems not to be accepted in the same way. Reference is still made to the lesser sooty owl, yet is it apparently the same 'species.' (see "Norman, J.A., Christidis, L., Joseph, L., Slikas, B, Alpers, D., 2002. Unravelling a biogeographical knot: the 'leapfrog' distribution pattern of Australo-Papuan sooty owls (Strigiformes) and logrunners (Passeriformes). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 269, 2127-2133.")

Why this is so is a bit of a mystery to me, any comments?

Graham Turner

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