TitleAre Monotypic Genera Paraphyletic
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1977
AuthorsWiley, III EO
JournalSystematic Zoology
KeywordsChordata: general and systematic - Pisces, Ecology: environmental biology - Water research and fishery biology 62510, Evolution 07517, General biology - Taxonomy, nomenclature and terminology 01500, Osteichthyes [85206] Evolution and Adaptation Systematics and Taxonomy Pisces Vertebrata Chordata Animalia 00504
AbstractPlatnick (1976) suggested that in a phylogenetic classification it is not possible to have monotypic genera under any condition other than an unresolved tri- or polychotomy, and that "monotypic genera seem impossible as they must always exclude at least 1 other species that is a descendant of the most recent ancestor (i.e., they must always be paraphyletic)." A logical extension of Platnick's reasoning that other monotypic supraspecific taxa (e.g., families, orders, etc.) are also paraphyletic, is contested and arguments are presented in support based on the evolution of Lepisosteus and the Actinopterygii.

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