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Ray you really need to learn how to read ...

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Posted by oxyuranus on October 28, 2002 at 23:28:18:

In Reply to: Hoser's Taipan ... WW your stuck with the name posted by Paul Hackett on October 28, 2002 at 20:42:51:

Hi Ray (or should I call you "Paul" ... hahaha)

:Thanks to the lot of you for posting the various bits and pieces re this new taxa.

It's always a pleasure to hear from you and your various personas ... you guys provide me with endless laughs and for that I can't thank you all enough!

:DW, your references to Slater's description was curious. Slater provided NO quantitative data separating the New Guinea and Australian Taipans, merely citing distribution as the reason to separate the two.

but seriously ... Ray I know you're edging on in years and the old eyesight probably isn't as sharp as it used to be ... but really ... even I thought you were at least literate enough to be able to read plain english??

For your benefit here again are Ken Slater's own words from the published description of the Papuan taipan with the relevant reasons for giving it sub-species status CAPITALIZED (so you can see it clearly!) :

"During the past eighteen months several specimens of Oxyuranus scutellatus were collected by the writer from the Port Moresby District of Papua. A detailed examination was made, though unfortunately no Australian examples were available for comparison. However it is obvious that there are SOME CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCES IN COLOUR, and the KEELING OF THE DORSAL AND LATERAL BODY SCALES IS MORE PRONOUNCED. There is also A DIFFERENCE IN THE CHEMICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE VENOM."

"Further, Mr. E. Worrell (personal communication) has prepared a paper for the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales in which cranial comparisons are made between the two forms. A DIFFERENCE IN THE SHAPE OF THE PTERYGOID as described by him, appears to be sufficiently pronounced for diagnostic use."

"BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCES NOTED ABOVE, AND, THAT NEW GUINEA HAS LONG BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE AUSTRALIAN MAINLAND therefore affording no contact between the two forms in recent times, it is proposed to distinguish the Papuan reptile from the originally described Australian form."

Hopefully even with your myopic vision Ray you should now be able to see that Slater list more than geography as the reason for proposing that Papuan taipans be regarded as a sub-species.

:If Slater can do this, why not Hoser?

I am absolutely sure that if you were to go to the trouble of producing a scientifically supported and ICZN compliant description of a sub-species of Oxyuranus scutellatus that was based on differentiating characters OTHER than just distribution alone we would all be more than happy to give it serious consideration.

:Maybe it's abias on your part.

Maybe I just want to see you actually produce a paper that is properly researched with scientific data that is reliable, accurate and credible.

:None of this was surprising as Slater noted he didn't even look at ANY Australian Taipans.

Back to clutching at straws again eh? You forget that Slater and Worrell had caught Australian coastal taipans together in the Cairns area - so Slater was well qualified to form an opinion that the taipans from New Guinea were different. Given also that he had information from Eric Worrell regarding differences in cranial morphology that were "sufficiently pronounced for diagnostic use" I have no trouble accepting that Slater's work as being an appropriate taxonomic description of a new sub-species for the time (1956).

Certainly if Slater were attempting to describe the Papuan taipans as a sub-species today (2002) the degree of scientific evidence that he would need to assemble would be significantly greater.

Unfortunately you don't live in 1956 Ray, so just get used to doing things according to the standards of 2002 taxonomists and I'm sure we will all be overjoyed!

Have a great day ...

David Williams

PS: Anytime you want to freehandle a REAL taipan (instead of a pet) under field conditions just let me know ... I'm sure I could accommodate you.

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