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Re: Dynamosaurus vs Tyrannosaurus



From: Amado Narvaez <anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu>
 > 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? 

Not necessarily.  For instance, if the name Dynamosaurus had been
previously applied to a different animal, it would be a junior
homonym, and invalid.  Alternatively, for a name to be "available",
that is for it to "count", it must be proposed in a manner according
to the rules.  Now, the availability rules that apply in this case
would be those that were in force in 1900, not the stricter rules
now in force, so it is less likely to be invalidly published than
would be the case today.  However, I suspect that even then merely
attaching a name to a specimen was not enough, and that may have
been what Osborn did.

I will try to remember to check my dinosaur list this evening,
and find out what the reason is.  [The fact that both the generic
and the specific name have been dropped suggests that the reason
was *not* homonymy, as the species name would still be valid in
that case].

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.