Such expressions as that famous one of Linnæus, and which we often meet with in a more or less concealed form, that the characters do not make the genus, but that the genus gives the characters, seem to imply that something more is included in our classification, than mere resemblance. I believe that something more is included; and that propinquity of descent,—the only known cause of the similarity of organic beings,—is the bond, hidden as it is by various degrees of modification, which is partially revealed to us by our classifications (Darwin, 1859, p. 413f).

Monday, 5 November 2012

Squirrels, Eels, Algae and Ardi: A Clarification

The "First human ancestor", which the ABC reports looked "like a squirrel" is of course not to be mixed up with the "Human Family's Earliest ancestor", namely Ardipithecus ramidus or “Ardi”, which tells us is a "... a female who lived 4.4 million years ago”. Not that this is to be confused with the Telegraph’s 'earliest human ancestor', a “prehistoric eel-like creature discovered in a Canadian shale bed has been identified as the earliest known ancestor of man", or indeed the ABC's "Oldest Human ancestor", an "elusive, single-cell creature evolved about a billion years ago and did not fit in any of the known categories of living organisms - it was not an animal, plant, parasite, fungus or alga, they say."

I hope this clarifies who our first, oldest and earliest ancestors really were.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Birds are Fish

Birds really are dinosaurs, and a sparrow or a blackbird is every bit as much a dinosaur as Tyrannosaurus or Stegosaurus (Dr. Dave Hone, Guaridian online 6 September, 2012)
birds r relly fish cause i askd my cous and he sed so. fish are animals with 4 legs, scales & a hed. everifin wif 4 legs, scales & a hed is a fish, like cats, sparros and Barry. dinasaurs r fish wif fevhvers so a bird iz relly a fish-dinasaur coz dinasaurs r like small fish in a klassafikayin like vis:
  • animals (birds & shit)
  • fish (animals wif scales)
  • dinasaurs (fish wif fevhers)
  • birds (dunno)
vat klassafikayin tellz u vat birds r fish wif fevhers.

uno other animals r spinless like worms & bugs & shit. so r plankton & trees i guess so va klassafikayin of bugs r:
  • animals (uva stuff)
  • spinless (like trees)
  • worms (veges wif eyes)
  • bugs (worms wif legs)
vis klassafikayin tells ya vat bugs r wormies wif legs.

sum idiots fink vis is rong, but all my mates rekon its right. i ave a lot of mates & in a democracy the majority rules: bugs r worms & birds r fish!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Publications for 2011

Below is our list of publications for 2011. For those with no access to the links, will be happy to provide pdf copies on request.
    Cecca, F., Morrone, J.J. and Ebach, M.C. (2011). Biogeographical convergence and time-slicing in cladistic biogeography: Concepts and methods. In P. Upchurch; A. McGowan & C. Slater (eds.), Palaeogeography and Palaeobiogeography: Biodiversity in Space and Time. Taylor & Francis (CRC Press), Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 1-12. 
    Ebach, M.C. (2011). Taxonomy and the DNA Barcoding Enterprise. Zootaxa, 2742: 67–68. 
    Ebach, M.C. (2011). Biogeógrafos del mundo... ¡uníos!: un camino hacia la unificación. Revista de Geografía Norte Grande, 48: 5-10. 
    Ebach, M.C., de Carvalho M.R. and Nihei, S.S. (2011). Saving Our Science from Ourselves: The Plight of Biological Classification. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia, 55: 149–153. 
    Ebach, M.C., de Carvalho, M.R. and Williams, D.M. (2011). Opening Pandora’s Molecular Box. Zootaxa, 2946: 60—64. 
    Ebach, M.C. and Williams, D.M. (2011). A Devil's Glossary for Biological Systematics. History and Philosophy of the Life Science,s 33: 251—258. 
    Ebach, M.C., Valdecasas, A.G. and Wheeler, Q.D. (2011). Impediments to Taxonomy and Users of Taxonomy: Accessibility and Impact Evaluation. Cladistics, 27: 550–557. Levkov, Z. and 
    Williams, D.M. (2011). Fifteen new diatom (Bacillariophyta) species from Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. Phytotaxa, 30: 1—41. 
    Mooi, R.D., Williams, D.M., and Gill, A.C. (2011). Numerical cladistics, an unintentional refuge for phenetics – a reply to Wiley et al. Zootaxa, 2946: 17—28. 
    Williams, D.M. (2011). Synedra, Ulnaria: definitions and descriptions – a partial resolution. Diatom Research, 
    Williams, D.M. and Gill, A.C. (2011). ‘Adventures in the fish trade’ by Colin Patterson, edited and with an introduction by David M. Williams & Anthony C. Gill. Zootaxa, 2946: 118—136. 
    Williams, D.M. and Kociolek, J.P. (2011). An overview of diatom classification with some prospects for the future. The Diatom World (Sebach, J & Kociolek, JP, eds), pp. 47—91.