This having been said however there is no doubt that

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Unformatted text preview: ecies have been diag nosed principally or purely on the basis of mtDNA distances, a p rocedure recently criticized on multiple grounds by Frankham e t al. (2012). Even leaving aside these authors’ cogent technical objections, whether the mtDNA distances reported for M icrocebus a nd L epilemur s amples actually correlate with other v alid criteria for species recognition is in many cases unknown. This having been said, however, there is no doubt that there are m any more species of both M icrocebus a nd L epilemur o ut there t han I was able to recognize in 1982; and indeed, the existence a nd identities of some of those additional M icrocebus s pecies h ave already been quite convincingly demonstrated via the d eployment of multiple criteria (e.g., Zimmermann et al. 1998, R asoloarison et al. 2000, Yoder et al. 2002). I have reviewed much of the evidence for taxonomic P AGE 9 p roliferation among the lemurs elsewhere (Tattersall 2007, 2 013). It does not seem particularly helpful to repeat this e xercise here, except to note that in both contributions I c oncluded that fully individuated status cannot at present be c onsidered conclusively substantiated for many more than half o f the 100-odd lemur species listed in the latest Field Guide ( Mittermeier et al. 2010). Still, I would also emphasize that, in p ointing to a paucity of decisive evidence for some of the more e xtravagant estimates of lemur species numbers, I am not in t he least disputing that there is far more lemur biodiversity in t he forests of Madagascar than we had thought there was only f our decades ago. Clearly, there are many species and distinc tive populations of lemurs in those forests, some of them with h ighly limited distributions. Equally evidently, the remarkable d iversity of Malagasy primates is systematically, geographically, g enetically, morphologically and ecologically structured in a m uch more complex fashion than we had ever dreamed, even a s recently as at the beginning of this millennium. However, I do urge the exercise of caution in using the crite rion of diagnosability as the sole arbiter of species status, whether t he diagnostic evidence at hand is molecular, or morphological, o r vocal, or whatever. Diagnosability is certainly a major factor t o be taken into account in any alpha - taxonomic decision; but u sing this criterion alone, as the PSC in its currently fashionable f orm advocates, simply takes us back to the phenetic cacophony o f species from which Ernst Schwarz (1930) rescued us the best p art of a century ago. In order to determine with any confidence w hether or not our subject populations ‘behave’ as individuated e ntities – which should surely be our goal – we require evidence f rom multiple sources, including morphology (in its broadest s ense, embracing superficial characters and olfactory signal ing systems as well as internal anatomy), DNA markers, social b ehaviors, vocal and visual communication, geographical and e cological distributions, environmental preferences, and interactions with sympatric populations including putative gene flow. We are obliged, in other words, to proceed in the manner of m any judicial sys...
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This test prep was uploaded on 03/31/2014 for the course ARH 102 taught by Professor Leslie during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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