Sooty Owl taxonomy

Subject: Sooty Owl taxonomy
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 15:48:44 +1000
On Wed, May 04, 2011 at 04:45:44AM +0000, Murray Lord wrote:
> It suggests the possibility that the south eastern Australian form
> is more closely related to the north Queensland form than to the
> New Guinea one.  If that were to be the case, it would be wrong
> to treat the south eastern and PNG forms are one species and the
> Queensland one is a different species. Either you would have to
> lump all three or split all three.

There is a third option to establish monophyly: treating the PNG
owls as one species and the Australian owls as a second species.
And to complicate matters not every taxonomist agrees that species
need be monophyletic, and many current species are apparently not
monophyletic.  This survey found that 17% of bird species examined
appeared non-monophyletic:
which plenty of splitting & lumping to come.

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