Megataxa <p><strong>Megataxa</strong> is a premium open access journal for important works reporting major advances in taxonomy.</p> en-US <span lang="EN-GB">Authors need to complete and return an </span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/j/public/files/MTcopyright.rtf">Assignment of Copyright</a> </span><span lang="EN-GB">form when a paper is accepted for publication. Authors from institutions that do not allow transfer of copyrights to publishers (e.g. government institutions such as USDA, CSIRO) should attach a copyright waiver or similar document.</span> (Zhi-Qiang Zhang) (Magnolia press) Tue, 25 Jan 2022 00:00:00 +1300 OJS 60 <p><strong>A review of Chelonian type specimens (order Testudines)</strong></p> <p>Type specimens are the cornerstones of modern taxonomy and systematics, and should be the starting point of any study of diversity, especially considering the increasing ability to sample them genetically. However, no compilation of type material (beyond holotypes) exists for turtles (Order Testudines). This is the first attempt to locate and compile a list of all type specimens (holotypes, paratypes, syntypes, lectotypes, neotypes, etc.) for all described turtles, whether currently recognized or synonymized. A total of 1222 named taxa are included here (including synonyms), but only 875 of them (71.6%) have at least one identified type specimen (excluding neotypes and iconotypes). Part or all of the type series for another 102 taxa are considered lost. This list represents a 45-year search effort, and although still incomplete, should benefit current and future turtle systematicists, as well as direct ongoing efforts to locate type specimens still missing.</p> JOHN B. IVERSON Copyright (c) 2022 Magnolia Press Limited Tue, 25 Jan 2022 00:00:00 +1300 <p><strong>The tragedy of the Natural History Museum, London</strong></p> <p>The remit of the Natural History Museum, London, encompasses the whole of the natural world and places it at the forefront of global concerns about human impact on the biosphere. The Museum’s stature as a world leading institution for storing and recording living diversity brings responsibilities, obligations and new prospects. In addition to revealing the genetic evolution of life in considerable detail, advances in molecular biology and cryogenics offer exciting new opportunities to extend beyond the Museum’s traditional role as a storehouse for recording living diversity and to take a lead in biodiversity conservation.</p> <p>In its strategy for the coming decade, the Museum has declared a planetary emergency for which we need an unprecedented response, asserting that we must act now, that we must act on scientific evidence and that we must act together. However, the Museum is no longer led by scientists; its relevant expertise and the prioritisation of its collection-based world-leading role is being rapidly dismantled. It has been taken over by an administrative structure and placed under a government Department that have no notion of the importance of this role. Much of the Museum’s activity is no longer led by science intimately connected to its role as a collections-based institution and its public profile is dominated by journalistic presentations from sources that are widely available to a broad range of the media. Inappropriate leadership and recruitment have diverted its science base in directions that place much of its research within the activities of numerous other academic agencies, undermining the reason and justification for the Museum’s existence. The move of about half of the collections and associated scientific staff to a location outside of London is a self-imposed act of institutional vandalism. It will mutilate a national treasure, not only inflicting a massive and permanent financial burden but also irrevocably damaging the Museum’s, cultural identity and function as an integrated collections and research institution. Rather than responding to a planetary emergency, the Museum is tragically descending into irrelevance.</p> FRED NAGGS Copyright (c) 2022 Mon, 11 Jul 2022 00:00:00 +1200