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Re: questions about Laopteryx and Archaeopterygidae

In a message dated 95-08-23 18:30:20 EDT, jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu (Jerry
D. Harris) writes:

>At 4:26 PM 8/23/95, FUCCI@CERNVM.CERN.CH wrote:
>>Laopteryx has been discribed in 1981 by Othniel Charles Marsh as
>>an Archaeopterygidae.
>>Could it possibly be a pterosaur?
>>What parts of the skeletton have been found?
>        The braincase that made up most of this animal has been redescribed
>as pterosaurian:
>Ostrom, John H. (1986).  "The Jurassic "bird" _Laopteryx priscus_
>Re-examined."  _Contributions
>        to Geology of the University of Wyoming_ Special Paper #3, 11-19.
>>How many different species belonging to Archaeopterygidae have been
>>up to now? What are there names?
>        Depending on who you ask, there are 1, 2, or 3 species.  Most
>people right now seem to be in the "2" camp.  Historically, the
>classifications hinged mostly around the Berlin and London specimens; in
>the past, people have placed them into two genera (_Archaeopteryx_ for the
>London one and _Archaeornis_ for the Berlin -- one person even went so far
>as to make the London specimen ancestral to ratites and _Archaeornis_
>ancestral to the rest of the birds!).  Also historically, some have only
>made the differentiation in species, thus you will see _Archaeopteryx
>lithographica_, _A. macrura_, and _A. siemensi_.  Most people currently
>view them all except the newest specimen as _A. lithographica_.  About 10
>years ago, there was a brief flurry about the Eichstatt specimen being a
>separate species, and then even a separate genus (_Jurapteryx_), mostly
>because it lacked a furcula, but also due to reported differences in the
>pelvis.  Most people now just view it as a juvenile of _A. lithographica_.
>The newest specimen has been described by Wellnhofer as a new species, _A.
>bavarica_ in part because it possesses a sternum, albeit a small one. de
>Beer (back in '54?) thought he saw a sternum on the London specimen as
>        Anyway, so there could be just one species (_A. lithographica_), 2
>(the former + _A. bavarica_), or 3 (if you like the idea of the Eichstatt
>specimen as a separate species, if not genus).  Again, most people right
>now seem to opt for "2" as the number of choice!  8-)

Well--One thing I can add to this little discussion is that _Laopteryx
prisca_ is the correct spelling of the species name; Marsh gave the wrong
gender to the genus. Ostrom made the correction in his 1986 paper (if I
remember correctly), though not in the title. Another thing is that
paleornithologist Pierce Brodkorb previously noted the probable pterosaur
nature of the brain case in his catalogue of fossil birds (part V) in 1978.

And another thing is this listing for Archaeopteryx from the forthcoming
Mesozoic Meanderings #2 third printing (sneaky way to go for a plug,
eh?--some of the characters contain diacritical marks and may not print
correctly on your machine, and as usual the italics, etc. will be

Genus: Archaeopteryx von Meyer, 1861 [nomen conservandum]
  = Archaeonis Ostrom, 1992 [sic]
  = Archaeopterix [Anonymous] 1861 [sic]
  = Archaeornis Petronievics vide Petronievics & Woodward, 1917
  = Archdopteryx Steiner, 1922 [sic]
  = Archeopteryx Owen, 1863 [sic]
  = Archeornis Jensen, 1969 [sic]
  = Archopteryx Jensen, 1969 [sic]
  = Griphornis Owen vide Woodward, 1862 [sic]
  = Griphosaurus Wagner, 1861 [nomen oblitum]
  = Gryphornis Lambrecht, 1933 [sic]
  = Gryphosaurus Marschall, 1873 vide Lambrecht, 1933 [sic]
  A. lithographica von Meyer, 1861 [nomen conservandum]
    = Archaeopterix lithographica [Anonymous] 1861 [sic]
    = Pterodactylus crassipes von Meyer, 1857 [nomen oblitum]
    = Archaeopteryx crassipes (von Meyer, 1857) Ostrom, 1972 [nomen oblitum]
    = Rhamphorhynchus crassipes (von Meyer, 1857) von Meyer, 1857 [as
      (Rhamphorhynchus) crassipes; nomen oblitum]
    = Scaphognathus crassipes (von Meyer, 1857) Wagner, 1861 [nomen oblitum]
    = Griphosaurus problematicus Woodward, 1862 [nomen oblitum]
    = Griphornis longicaudatus Woodward, 1862 [sic]
    = Griphosaurus longicaudatus (Woodward, 1862) [nomen oblitum]
    = Griphosaurus longicaudatum (Woodward, 1862) [sic]
    = Archaeopteryx macrura Owen, 1862 [nomen oblitum]
    = Archaeopterix macrura Owen, 1862 [sic]
    = Archaeopterix macrurus Egerton, 1862 [sic]
    = Archeopteryx macrurus Owen, 1863 [sic]
    = Archaeopteryx macroura Vogt, 1879 [sic]
    = Archaeopteryx siemensii Dames, 1897
    = Archaeopteryx siemensi (Dames, 1897)
    = Archaeornis siemensi (Dames, 1897)
    = Archaeornis siemensii (Dames, 1897) Petronievics, 1917
    = Archaeopteryx oweni Petronievics, 1921 [nomen oblitum]
    = Gryphornis longicaudatus Lambrecht, 1933 [sic]
    = Archeopteryx macrura Ostrom, 1970 [sic]
    = Archaeopterix lithographica di Gregorio, 1984 [sic]
  ?A. vicensensis [Anonymous] vide Lambrecht, 1933 [nomen dubium]
    NOTE: The above species is a pterosaur, according to O. Kleinschmidt
(Brodkorb, 1978). A formal description has apparently never been published.
  ?A. bavarica Wellnhofer, 1993
    = Archaeopteryx bavarica Browne, 1993 [nomen nudum; name published in the

      December 28, 1993 New York Times may precede publication of the name by

    NOTE: Generic and specific names marked nomen oblitum in the above
listing, as well as many of the misspellings, were formally suppressed in
favor of the names marked nomen conservandum by opinions #607 and #1070 of
the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

Genus: Jurapteryx Howgate, 1985
   J. recurva (Howgate, 1984) Howgate, 1985
    = Archaeopteryx recurva Howgate, 1984
    NOTE: Most workers continue to regard this species as a synonym of
Archaeopteryx lithographica (cf. Wellnhofer, 1992). Its smaller size and
distinctive dental anatomy, however, do support assignment to a distinct
genus. Archaeopteryx bavarica may also be referable to this genus.

--It's great to have all this stuff on my computer so I can just dish it up.
Additions and corrections are always welcome!