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Keywords:

  • speciation;
  • species recognition;
  • fossils;
  • diversity;
  • systematics

Nobody disputes that nature is meaningfully “packaged” in some way. But debate persists over exactly how (and even whether) the boundaries dividing taxa should (can) be drawn. At one end of the scale, some zealots abstrusely deny real existence to higher taxa.1 At the other, laborers at the taxonomic rock-face confront genuine challenges in recognizing and delineating the species that systematists agree constitute the most fundamental unit of taxonomic analysis.[2, 3]