17 August 2010

An Example of Why We Need the PhyloCode

I just ran Radish on Zea mays (maize, a.k.a. corn). Look what the combined taxonomies from uBio look like:

What a mess! Keep in mind that the multiplicity of paths is not due to differing phylogenies (they all seem to agree on that), but to differing nomenclature. Even if uBio were to add some of the more obvious synonymies (e.g., Embryophyta and "Embryophytes"), it'd still be pretty wild.

Eventually I plan to have Radish work with automatically-generated taxonomies, made by placing PhyloCode names (from RegNum) onto TreeBase phylogenies using Names on Nodes algorithms, but until then I guess this is the best option.

And Zea mays is just a particularly egregious example. In contrast, here's a nice, neat "radish" for Scarabaeus sacer:

Apart from the one errant use of Animalia, pretty nice!


  1. HI MIke,
    I'd like to use your rendering of the The Archaeopteryx Thermopolis in my blog Visual Science:


    for Discover magazine. Can you let me know how I can reach you?
    Rebecca Horne
    Discover magazine
    Photo Director
    212 624-4783

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