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Gentoo Penguin possible future split into 4 species (1 Viewer)

Björn Bergenholtz

... also known as "Calalp"
The original study dates from 2016 it seems to me. Is it now that the bbc reacts?
I doubt it, would assume the BBC are referring to:

"Joshua Tyler, Matthew T. Bonfitto, Gemma V. Clucas, Sushma Reddy, Jane L. Younger. Morphometric and genetic evidence for four species of gentoo penguin. Ecology and Evolution, 2020".

Probably "in Press", more likely a (sneak) preview, a tip in advance, to the journalists, simply to raise some attention?

See, for example, here. Though, note; the DOI-link doesn't work (at least not for me).
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
Sounds like a cock-up in the press release timing. it happens occasionally, I guess the paper will be available in the next day or so.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
Interesting paper. It's surprising how different populations in even quite close proximity can be to one another.

I can see the potential for other new species being proposed from the unsampled populations. Especially Macquarie Island.
 

T.O.

Well-known member
It seems that they use a PSC approach and at least some of the methodology is flawed (multivariate analysis is only a good tool if the different input variables are independent and it is quite clear they aren't). Overall still interesting to find such genetic differences and some morphological differences (on a small dataset), but it seems they have forgotten that you can also call them subspecies instead of full species, as morphological differences seem to be minor all things considered. I haven't seen results that show these different populations aren't simply a cline with gene flow between them, but I skimmed parts of the article so might have missed that...
 

Kirk Roth

Well-known member
It seems that they use a PSC approach and at least some of the methodology is flawed (multivariate analysis is only a good tool if the different input variables are independent and it is quite clear they aren't). Overall still interesting to find such genetic differences and some morphological differences (on a small dataset), but it seems they have forgotten that you can also call them subspecies instead of full species, as morphological differences seem to be minor all things considered. I haven't seen results that show these different populations aren't simply a cline with gene flow between them, but I skimmed parts of the article so might have missed that...

I too did not find species-level differences to be well stated in the paper. Indeed one "species" is diagnosed basically on average flipper length (by 5 mm in some cases... with overlapping range!) - which would seem to me the type of difference commonly attributed to subspecies in many taxonomies. The so-called ecological differences (e.g. beach type and prey composition) are expected for taxa that live on different islands and latitudes and more evidence would need to be presented to demonstrate their relation to divergence (vs. Gentoo Penguins just being opportunistic to their colony location).

Between all that and the many unsampled colonies, I wouldn't expect to be clearing space on any taxonomy spreadsheets any time soon.

I'm not a statistician by any means, but it does seem to me a solid description of the differences of Gentoos - and that certainly has implications for both conservation and population dynamics/subspecific taxonomy levels. In my opinion the speciation speculation detracts from an otherwise very interesting study.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
In my opinion the speciation speculation detracts from an otherwise very interesting study.

Agreed!

I also agree that it's a shame that they didn't sample more populations. Still, a really interesting set of of data in there.
 

PScofield

Well-known member
Pygoscelis poncetii sp. nov.

Etymology. Pygoscelis poncetii is named after Sally Poncet, whose body of work has significantly influenced the field of polar biology, particularly in relation to South Georgia...

Groan...
 

Jim LeNomenclatoriste

Taxonomy and zoological nomenclature
France
Pygoscelis poncetii sp. nov.

Etymology. Pygoscelis poncetii is named after Sally Poncet, whose body of work has significantly influenced the field of polar biology, particularly in relation to South Georgia...

Groan...

Why poncetii is ending by two i instead of one ?
 
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l_raty

laurent raty
Why poncetii is ending by two i instead of one ?
This would be the mark of a latinization into Poncetius; admittedly a bit 'old school', but in no way unacceptable.
The real question (the reason of Paul's 'Groan') is why poncetii doesn't end in -ae...
 
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