Linnean taxonomy

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==Taxonomic Inflation==
==Taxonomic Inflation==
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When Linneus was around there were not really that many types of animals and plants known, so only a few classes, orders, families, and genera would suffice.  As the natural world became better known with further voyages of discovery, as well as developments in biology, more and more new generic, family, and higher categories were required to handle it all
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When Linnaeus was around there were not really that many types of animals and plants known, so only a few classes, orders, families, and genera would suffice.  As the natural world became better known with further voyages of discovery, as well as developments in biology, more and more new generic, family, and higher categories were required to handle it all
To a large extent this was completely justified, but in the last few decades there has developed a rather unfortunate tendency known as Taxonomic Inflation.  This means that a previously considered ranking - e.g. a superfamily, is raised to a higher ranking - e.g. an order, without real justification.  Here of course we have again the fact of the arbitrary nature of the Linnean ranking, as it could be argued either position is valid.  And sometimes both versions co-exist (as with the splitters and the lumpers) and are found in different text books (and web pages).  For example each of the major taxa of vascular plants may be considered as either Classes (e.g. Lycopsida) or the next higher rank, a Division (e.g. Lycophyta).  In keeping with an on-going process of inflation, the latter is more often used now, but one still finds examples of the former approach quite frequently, even in recent books
To a large extent this was completely justified, but in the last few decades there has developed a rather unfortunate tendency known as Taxonomic Inflation.  This means that a previously considered ranking - e.g. a superfamily, is raised to a higher ranking - e.g. an order, without real justification.  Here of course we have again the fact of the arbitrary nature of the Linnean ranking, as it could be argued either position is valid.  And sometimes both versions co-exist (as with the splitters and the lumpers) and are found in different text books (and web pages).  For example each of the major taxa of vascular plants may be considered as either Classes (e.g. Lycopsida) or the next higher rank, a Division (e.g. Lycophyta).  In keeping with an on-going process of inflation, the latter is more often used now, but one still finds examples of the former approach quite frequently, even in recent books
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<center>[[image:Palaeos logo small.gif|Palaeos com page]]<br>[http://www.palaeos.com/Systematics/Linnean/Linnean.htm Palaeos com - The Linnean System]</center>
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{{Linnaean taxonomy}}
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'''Credits:''' Kheper MAK980621, Palaeos com MAK020520, checked ATW021130, copied to Palaeos org and incorporated [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_classification wikipedia material] ([http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html GNU Free Documentation License]) MAK061001
 
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<center>[[image:Palaeos logo small.gif|Palaeos com page]]<br>[http://www.palaeos.com/Systematics/Linnean/Linnean.htm Palaeos com - The Linnean System]</center>
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{{Linnaean taxonomy}}
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'''Credits:''' Kheper MAK980621, Palaeos com MAK020520, checked ATW021130, copied to Palaeos org and incorporated [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_classification wikipedia material] ([http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html GNU Free Documentation License]) MAK061001

Revision as of 10:59, 8 October 2006

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