In memory of Cathy Nigrini and Bill Riedel for their invaluable contribution to Cenozoic Polycystinea.
This publication provides the most complete revision of Cenozoic genera published from 1834, when the first Polycystinea found in the plankton of the China Sea was described by Meyen (a Collodaria, Sphaerozoum fuscum). This third catalogue, finished in December 2019, represents the conclusion of an ambitious research project that began in 2005 and was carried out under the auspice of the International Association of Radiolarists (InterRad) on the taxonomic revision of all genera of polycystin radiolarians. Without the collaborative effort and knowledge of many colleagues this Geodiversitas's Trilogy could not have been possible. It represents the sum of the efforts of two generations of researchers whose skills and results would undoubtedly have been lost without this conscious effort. This project also represents a new era of new opportunities for young researchers who are sailing into undiscovered seas. This work is dedicated to all of them. Without a doubt, many taxonomic decisions adopted in these pages will be changed in the future; but, this is inevitable and is the only way in which our knowledge evolves. For these reasons, it was a priority to provide and make the results of these investigations accessible to everyone in a published media: Geodiversitas, a diamond open access journal.
During the very final stage of this project I came across two surprising pieces of information. The first one was the hundredth anniversary of the death of Ernst Haeckel in 2019. Paradoxically, this project on the revision of all genera of Polycystinea published between 1834-2019, comes to its close the same year as that of Haeckel’s centenary, whose pioneer work set the foundations of the first radiolarian systematics.
The second and most stunning information was written by George Deflandre, 60 years ago in "À propos du développement des recherches sur les radiolaires fossiles" (Deflandre 1960, Revue de Micropaléontologie 2: 212-218). It was a kind of premonition which he stated at the end of the last page and is reproduced below. I am very proud to see that after a long period of collaborative effort between the members of different Working Groups of InterRad, we have accomplished this visionary advice from Deflandre:
"Au point où nous en sommes actuellement, il me semble qu’un travail d’ensemble sur les Radiolaires ne saurait être mené à bien par un seul travailleur. « Refaire Haeckel », c’est-à-dire présenter un ouvrage qui remplacerait les trois volumes du «Challenger», ne pourra, à mon sens,être réalisé que par une équipe organisée. Peut-être serait-il temps de concevoir un comité international qui présiderait à la création d’une telle équipe, entre les membres de laquelle seraient réparties les études partielles préludant à une synthèse. Ce serait le seul moyen d’éviter la dispersion des efforts et la poursuite, par plusieurs chercheurs, d’études sur un même sujet. Toute idée de compétition pourrait être abolie, grâce à un esprit de large et confiante collaboration."
[Today, I think that a global revision of Radiolarians by a single specialist could not be realized. For me, "Redoing Haeckel", i.e. producing a master piece which could replace the three volumes of the "Challenger Report", is only be feasible by a well-organized and dedicated team. The time may have come to create an international committee that could organize such a team and whose members could each carry out preliminary studies before producing a global synthesis. This would be the only possibility in avoiding a dispersion of the efforts of many specialists working on similar projects. All possibility of conflicts could also be avoided thanks to a wide and confident collaboration.]
Update February 2022: it is now possible to order the complete thematic issue "Catalogue of Cenozoic Radiolaria", edited by Luis O'Dogherty, in print-on-demand; please note that the thematic issue is printed in 3 volumes of 303, 240 and 240 pages; the first volume contains the articles 43 (15) and 44 (5), the second and third volumes contain the article 43 (21). It is actually not possible to order only one of these volumes, but the articles are still available, individually, in print-on-demand.
Luis O'DOGHERTY et al.75-205, Published on 03 February 2022, art. 44 (5)
Noritoshi SUZUKI et al.405-573, Published on 08 July 2021, art. 43 (15)
Luis O'DOGHERTY et al.709-1185, Published on 16 November 2021, art. 43 (21)