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Perhaps reference to the official definitions will be more clear about this - but there is a subtle difference betweeen how a neotype is defined in this article and how it is defined in biological types - Marshman 20:33, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Who is the human holotype? 16:22, 13 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What a great question. So sorry no one bothered to answer you sooner. Only specimens named after 1931 are required to have holotypes, so there might not be one. I will have to search around and see if I can find out what the holotype for Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 is. Thanks for posing the question. KP Botany 19:20, 3 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've come across the statement that it is Carl Linnaeus himself, but don't know if this is a formal designation or just someone's joke - MPF 13:43, 4 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, we know he's responsible for the original description, so if he's the holotype, it must have been one of the one's added later, you know the mistake-o-correctiontype made a holotype because there's a missing holotype. Conceptually interesting if it's him, where's he housed? I'll look up his grave. I did ask the ICZN folk, hopefully they answer. I will certainly post if I find out. Still, it's a shame such a brilliant question was ignored for so long. This is one thing about encyclopedias, what is fundamental knowledge? I read articles all the time and find things included I never thought of asking. KP Botany 18:10, 4 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no actual holotype for H. sapiens. There are a few people who have recently attempted to designate them (the most notorious case involves E.D. Cope's skull), but these designations were not validly done. Article 75.3 of the ICZN Code explicitly states there must be "an exceptional need" and the express purpose of "clarifying the taxonomic status". There is ZERO ambiguity about the identity of our own species, so we do not NEED to have a holotype. Since we do not need a type specimen, no one is allowed to designate one. That is how the code is written, and - quite significantly - WHY it is written that way; to avoid unscientific non-issues like "Who is the holotype of Homo sapiens?
However, this is not the code, this is Wikipedia. Article 75.3 explicitly states there must be "an exceptional need" for what? For designation of a holotype when one does not exist? For using a holotype at all in zoology? You're missing part of your sentence. So, were holotypes not used for animal species in the 18th century? Are they a modern aspect of zoology? Are they used now for zoology? Weren't Linnaeus's original specimens used for describing the species the holotypes for various other species? Does it say that in the code, that the purpose for requiring a that there be an exception need to clarify taxonomic status is because unscientific non-issues might arise? It seems that taxonomy might be immune to this, as most non-taxonomists would not be in the position of demanding the designation of a holotype. KP Botany 22:05, 4 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An exceptional need for clarification of a species' identity. In other words, there must be two taxa which are believed to be distinct, and one of which presumably belongs to the taxon which has no holotype. A holotype is needed in such a case to "fix" the species concept, but there is no requirement that species (described prior to 2000) must have a holotype. There are hundreds of species described prior to 2000 in existence which have no holotype and never will, because no one is confused about their identity. We haven't discovered another species of humans which might be confused with H. sapiens (without a designated type to compare to), so no neotype can be validly designated. Linnaeus did not refer to any identifiable specimen(s) in his description of H. sapiens, nor did several other early zoologists at various times - the whole concept of a holotype appeared much, much later. So, (1) even though Stearn designated that Linnaeus himself was the "lectotype", this was technically incorrect (a lectotype can only be designated from among a syntype series), and (2) Bakker never did publish a paper declaring Cope's skull as the type, and (3) the present Code prohibits any future designations from being recognized. Thus, no validly-designated type for our species exists, or is possible, because we really don't NEED one. Dyanega 16:43, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS Thanks for pointing to the Cope article. KP Botany 22:10, 4 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


As this is phrased to cover more than one Code of nomenclature, this remains a nightmare, full of confusing weasel words. It really should be split. Brya 08:54, 9 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wouldn't this info be better off if merged with type specimen? FunkMonk (talk) 19:32, 1 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Isotype redirects here, but it isn't mentioned anywhere. Can someone add something or otherwise remove the redirect? Jalwikip (talk) 14:32, 5 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Confusion over definition[edit]

I'm confused about the definition. These statements are made:

a) A holotype is an example known to have been used when the species (or lower-ranked taxon) was formally described.
b) A holotype is not necessarily "typical" of that taxon, although ideally it should be.

Is it also true that a holotype is not necessarily typical of the species?

c) Even if a better specimen is subsequently found, the holotype is not superseded.
d) A holotype can be superseded if it turns out to lack important diagnostic features.

Statements c and d contradict.

e) Above, in section "human", editor Dyanega states that there is no need for a holotype, for example when "no one is confused about their identity".

It's difficult to tell what's going on. Are holotypes necessary or not? Can the specimens be changed or not? Can someone, for example, decide to create a holotype to anticipate a future need? Leptus Froggi (talk) 04:19, 29 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Linnaeus as type specimen for H. sapiens[edit]

Page watchers are invited to weigh in at the discussion at Talk:Carl Linnaeus#Type specimen regarding the type specimen of H. sapiens. Umimmak (talk) 09:07, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

so a holotype is the first recorded discovery of something, whether it's dead or alive.[edit]

the first paragraph says a holotype can be one thing or one of many parts of things, and later the article says like a dinosaur leg fossil can be a holotype, and in this instance, since holotype is so limited, neotypes and other types can be established for research. so was the dinosaur leg just part of that whole dino's body, and the parts were all found in the same place at the same time, and the leg was the best preserved of all the parts found and chosen as the holotype for that reason?

and then on the last or second last paragraph, it says a holotype can be an individual (article uses noun usage of the word 'individual' incorrectly to describe a creature also here), living creature, and that holotypes can be lost for this reason (if the creature is left and lost in the wild for instance). I can only imagine that living creature in this case designated the holotype because it was the first instance.of that creatures discovery? right?

if im right, the "first" discovery aspect of what a holotype is should be elaborated on a little. if im wrong, this article makes very little sense at all. 2600:1700:DF50:A1F0:D95F:DBDA:BF23:39E1 (talk) 17:50, 8 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]