• Ralf Bürglin

    Dear Vladimir,

    thank you for your mammallist update.

    I stumbled over:
    Capra lervia,
    Capra jayakari
    Capra nayaur=schaeferi

    I have never seen Ammotragus lervia, Arabitragus jayakari, Pseudois nayaur, Pseudois schaeferi being correlated with Capra. Personally I also think it is not justifiable.

    Best wishes, Ralf

    • vdinets

      Anyway, thanks for noticing. While fixing this, I also noticed that Jaculus hirtipes was missing (it’s been recently split from J. jaculus based on molecular data, pelage color and habitat preferences; look for it in Makhtesh Katan in Negev).

  • vdinets

    Actually, almost all possible groupings have been proposed over the years. See, for example:

    Ludwig, A., & Fischer, S. (1998). New aspects of an old discussion‐phylogenetic relationships of Ammotragus and Pseudois within the subfamily Caprinae based on comparison of the 12S rDNA sequences. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 36(4), 173-178.

    But the true reason is that I started updating Caprinae and never finished 🙂 It is possible that Arabian tahr will be eventually merged into Ammotragus and Nilgiri tahr into Capra; I’ve heard that there is a large molecular study underway, but it’s far from being completed.

  • morganchurchill

    I only have taxonomic expertise with marine mammals, so here are some issues and suggestions, divided into needed corrections and changes I think that are not technically wrong, but are unnecessary and unlikely to be accepted


    Based on an ICZN ruling, Otaria flavescens should be Otaria byronia (Although admittedly for some reason everyone in South America ignores this ruling)

    Phoca barbata = Should be retained as Erignathus barbatus. It’s the earliest diverging Phocine and lumping it with Phoca requires lumping of Cystophora as well. It’s also pretty distinctive when compared to most phocine seals, based on diet, foraging ecology, and morphology.

    Balaenoptera vs Megaptera
    Molecular and total evidence analyses embed the latter into the former. There are proposals out there to actually split up Balaenoptera. This would retain Megaptera, limit Balaenoptera to Fin Whale, move minke whales to a “new” genus (Pterobalaena), and place the remainder of the balaenopterids in Rorqualus. Its not clear to me what direction things will go, and at this point either approach is valid.

    Delphinus bredanensis = Steno bredanensis; McGowen 2011 actually finds Steno pretty far away from Delphinus, and near the grampus clade. Should be maintained as its own genus

    Globicephala crassidens = Pseudorca crassidens; The above study actually finds False Killers whales outside a clade containing Feresa and Pepenocephala; You would need to lump all of those taxa to lump Pseudorca

    Lagenorhynchus albirostris is a stem delphinid, with pretty good support. It should be treated as a monotypic genus

    Lagenorhynchus acutus = Leucopleurus acutus; basal most living delphinid, and thus gets its own genus

    The remaining Lagenorhynchus should be shuffled off to the genus Sagmatias, although I think some taxa are poorly sampled and might need further revision. At any rate they don’t belong in Lagenorhynchus anymore

    Whats the basis for lumping Monodontidae with Phocoenidae? There is some support they are mostly closely related to porpoises, and not delphinids, which would render this move invalid. Probably best treated as their own family

    Physeter Catodon = Physeter macrocephalus

    Did you forget Indopacetus pacificus?

    Unneeded changes:

    Neophoca vs Phocarctos: This is a bit of both categories: Neophoca cinerea is a bit unstable in many phylogenetic trees; it’s probably most closely related to Phocarctos but it could also be sister to a Otaria-Phocarctos clade. At any rate, I wouldn’t lump the two as it’s not necessary and is unlikely to be accepted by any taxonomic body, so I would keep Phocarctos.

    Pagophilus groenlandica and Histriophoca fasciata don’t really need to be lumped in with Phoca..I will grant they are similar but its most conservative at this point to retain them. Basically I feel the chance to lump them all together has passed, and it would be more disruptive at this point to merge them

    Balaena vs Eubalaena = Morphologically these two genera have very different cranial architecture, which has remained distinctive since the Pliocene at least. No reason to lump and unlikely to be followed by future authorities

    The consensus for Eschrichtius seems to have it as the sister to balaenopterids, versus earlier molecular work that embedded them within the clade. Fossil forms related to the clade date back to the Miocene, and it’s probably best to retain them as their own family.

    Eschrichtius atlanticus: what is the basis of splitting this taxon? I have heard rumors of ancient dna analysis revealing very little genetic distinction with the Pacific whales. This is one case where I would think its better to lump

    Cetotheriidae: I kind of hate the proposal pushed forward recently to transfer neobalaenids to Cetotheriidae. This is almost entirely driven by juvenile cranial features, which have their own issues as far as use in morphological phylogenetic analyses. Even if Neobalaenids are close to cetotheriidae, cetotheriids don’t really look anything like adult neobalaenids, so it seems better to keep the family until further studies are performed, which might give different results.

    Iniidae = I don’t think there is any movement towards merging these taxa into one family, and it would probably make things far more complicated for paleontologists, given the rich fossil record of these formerly widespread dolphins

    • vdinets

      Thanks a lot!

      I am waiting on Balaenoptera/Megaptera until the new taxonomy is worked out.

      The reason I had Steno in Delphinus is that it hybridizes with bottle-nosed dolphins in the wild and in captivity. But looking at the literature now I see that Grampus does it even more often, with entire pods of hybrids recorded.

      I still have Indopacetus in Mesoplodon because the differences are almost entirely limited to skull shape, which is also highly variable among Mesoplodon spp. MtDNA results were inconclusive (http://whitelab.biology.dal.ca/md/Indopacetus_2003.pdf), so I’m waiting for nDNA information.

      The case for Pagophilus and Histriophoca has never been strong in the first place; they are maintained simply because nobody cares. Since my checklist is not intended to influence taxonomy in general, I don’t have to care about disrupting it 🙂


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