from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Biology A taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus, or species.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of the taxonomic categories such as phylum or subspecies
- n. A specific taxonomic category above superfamily and below infraorder; a parvorder
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a taxonomic group, or the name of a taxonomic grouping.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. animal or plant group having natural relations
The new taxon is named Gamerabaena, and the authors note, under etymology, "'Gamera refers to the fictional, firebreathing turtle from the 1965 movie Gamera, in allusion to his fire-breathing capabilities and the Hell Creek Formation ..."
Just came across this article on an anigmatic new taxon from the Ediacaran, reporting the discovery of the eight-armed organism Eoandromeda octobrachiata from China and Australia.
An example of natural turning on of a complex latent program in a lower taxon is discussed.
The best-known example of a member of a Lazarus taxon is the coelacanth, a fish closely related to amphibians that had been thought to have died out with the dinosaurs -- only to turn up in the net of a South African trawler in 1938.
This is O. osborni, a taxon from the Congo (first described in 1919 and given its own genus, Osteoblepharon) until recently regarded as a subspecies of O. tetraspis.
If Hydromantes and Speleomantes are the same genus, the distribution of this taxon is pretty odd: it occurs as relict populations in Italy, France and Sardinia, and then also in California.
Note as usual that the discovery date of a taxon is not necessarily the same as the date as when it was first named or recognised as new.
That’s good news, because Ikanogavialis (best known for I. gameroi from Upper Miocene* Venezuela [a jaw segment from this taxon is figured at left]) is – while not the same thing as Gavialis – still undoubtedly a member of the gharial family, Gavialidae.
We therefore, arbitrarily, chose cut-off points in how much variation we tolerate within any taxon – in other words, we arbitrarily decide how we chop up a lineage into those units we call species and genera.
They argue, for example, that Sánchez-Hernández ignored (or was unaware of) workers in the museum in which the material was housed to publish on a specimen and name it without notice, who were themselves preparing a manuscript naming the taxon (of which name was available in musuem labels).
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