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Re: Naming Brontosaurs vs Apatosaurs--an aside
> I enjoyed the discussion of the issue of naming the brontosaurus/
>apatosaurus which appeared several days ago. The discussion had
>pretty much died down when last Friday evening I attended one of
>the monthly meetings of the Kentucky Paleontological Society. The
>slide lecture was presented by Dr. Cortland Eble of the
>Kentucky Geological Survey. The presentation focused on
>Pennsylvanian plant fossils from Kentucky and their relationships to
>coal formation. Dr. Eble is a paleopalynologist [knower of old pollen
>and spores]. He presented some lovely slides taken with the microscope
>showing a wide range of plant types from the period.
> In the discussion of lycopod trees it became evident that the
>spore and the plant have different names, even though they are
>the same organism. Further, it developed, there are as many as
>5, 6, 7, or more names for the same organism, depending on what
>part is being denoted. These names have all appearance of being
>separate species, but in fact they all refer to the same species.
> I couldn't help but think of apatosaurus/brontosaurus when thinking
>of these plants and their many names. I suppose we give more attention
>to the issue of naming the dinosaur species because they are *big*.
>But I wonder who gave the paleobotanists special dispensation so that
>they are exempt from following the rules of scientific naming.
The botanists follow a different code than paleozoologists (who follow the
International Committee on Zoological Nomenclature). However, we in the
vert paleo world have a similar situation with footprints - one animal might
produce a couple differnt ichnotaxa (named footprint types), while one
ichnotaxon can be made by many different species.
>Bob Moore STR002@UKCC.UKY.EDU
>Stroke Program, Center on Aging (606) 323-5760 (voice)
>101 Sanders-Brown Building (606) 257-8990 (fax)
>University of Kentucky
>Lexington, Kentucky 40536
Thomas R. HOLTZ
Vertebrate Paleontologist, Dept. of Geology