[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Dynamosaurus vs Tyrannosaurus

>The perennial debate over the name Apatoaurus vs Brontosaurus prompts
>me to inquire about the validity of Tyrannosaurus. In Horner's
>_The Complete T. Rex_ on pp 64-65 is a listing of "The Eleven and
>Only T. Rexes." The first listing is for an animal discovered by
>Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn, in 1900, which Osborn named
>"Dynamosaurus imperiosus." In 1902, Osborn discovered another animal
>which he apparently named "Tyrannosaurus rex." If Dynamosaurus and
>Tyrannosaurus are really the same species, shouldn't the former name
>have precedence over the latter? (Personally, I think if William
>Shakespeare had been a paleontologist, he would comment: "What's in
>a name? That which we call Apatosaurus by any other name would be
>a thunder lizard.")

No, Tyrannosaurus is still the valid name.  Although the specimen which
became the type of Dynamosaurus was DISCOVERED first, the idea of priority
is based on the first name PUBLISHED.  Both Tyrannosaurus and Dynamosaurus
were published in the same paper (in 1905), but Tyrannosaurus is mentioned
first.  Furthermore, Osborn himself (as the first revisor) chose
Tyrannosaurus as the true name when, in 1906, he realized that they were
the same species.

Pity that the name Dynamosaurus imperiosus has to go to the wastebasket,
its a great name!

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile
U.S. Geological Survey
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092

email:  tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov 
Phone:  703-648-5280
FAX:            703-648-5420