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Re: proper name for coelophysis
Bonnie Blackwell wrote:
>i recently read in lucas' textbook that _Rioarribasaurus_ is the new
>name for _Coelophysis_. Has this name been accepted generally by the
>community? I note in mail messages from the listserver by several
>that they are still using _Coelophysis_. Opinions please...
Face it, there is a certain amount of satifaction naming a new
species. Yet, Lucas and Hunt could have salvaged the name Coelophysis
had they wanted to. As the ICZN says: "The Principle of Priority is to
be used to promote stability and is not intended to be used to upset a
long-accepted name in its accustomed meaning... " [VI, Art 23(b)].
Although intended for the suppression of unused senior names, the same
reasoning could have been applied to Coelophysis. They could have
designated the slab mounted Coelophysis that is available as a cast as a
Neotype: "an author may designate another specimen to be the type
(neotype)..."(XVI, Art. 75(a). "A neotype is to be designated only in
connection with revisory work, but only in exceptional circumstances
when a neotype is necessary in the interests of stability of
nomenclature..." (XVI, Art. 75(b).
The most important hustification, however, is: "Neotypes should be
designated to clarify the application of names when their continued
existence as nomina dubia threatens the stability of other names; if,
despite the exsistence of a holotype, or a lectotype, or syntypes, it is
not possible to resolve a complex zoological problem, a zoologist should
refer the case to the Commission which may...set aside the existing type
material and designate a neotype" (Recommendation 75E).
As to the allegation that there are two genera at Ghost Ranch,
differing only in:
1, minor points of the skeleton (e.g. presence or absence of the
obturator foramen in the ischium),
2, that are otherwise the same size,
3, have the same skull and teeth,
4, the same general morphology,
5, traveled together in a herd, and
6, hence occupied the same niche
I DO NOT BELIEVE IT!