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Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record$
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Warren D. Allmon and Margaret M. Yacobucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226377445

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226377582.001.0001

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Species and the Fossil Record of Fishes

Species and the Fossil Record of Fishes

(p.312) Chapter Eleven Species and the Fossil Record of Fishes
Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record

William E. Bemis

University of Chicago Press

Naming new species of fossil fishes serves two related but different purposes: 1) species names provide practical constructs for understanding paleodiversity by linking specimens to localities and stratigraphic information; and 2) species names provide tools for phylogenetic and biogeographic studies. If species names for fossil fishes primarily serve as practical tools for cataloging paleodiversity and secondarily as tools for phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses, then a need for the future is the development of a comprehensive, global, universally accessible digital catalog of fossil fishes. It should be designed to be comparable to and compatible with the Catalog of Fishes and build directly upon original species descriptions since 1758. The goal would be to catalog: 1) all available generic names; 2) all valid generic names; and 3) all type localities, including stratigraphic information. This effort could be extended to document all available species names, valid species names, and type localities. Such a multi-decadal project could become an important catalyst for revisionary studies of fossil and living fishes. In the meantime, we continue to differentially diagnose extant species of fishes based primarily on morphology and do not know to what extent most of these named species actually operate in nature as biological species.

Keywords:   systematics, taxonomy, International Code of Zoological Nomenclature

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