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Re: "Raymond" the triceratops & ICZN



Stan Friesen wrote:

>[If you think this is not important, look at the debates about
>the real identity of that dinosaur that was destroyed in the fire
>at ?Yale].

This was the holotype of Podokesaurus holyokensis lost at the Holyoke 
college.  There are good photos of the specimen and these show that the 
skeleton is so fragmentary, that even if it were present today, there 
would still be questions about its relationship.

>Now, this problem can be ameliorated somewhat by making plaster casts
>of the specimen.  But a cast is never quite he same as the original,
>since it preserves only the shape, not the color and minerology.

True, but a systematic description is about the shapes of the bone, not 
the color or texture.

>Also, the problem would be far more significant if this were a new
>species, as the type specimen of a species *must* be available
>for comparison, or it is totally useless. [The rules even require
>a properly deposited type specimen now].

     Sorry, not true, otherwise the name Podokesaurus, Spinosaurus, 
Bahariasaurus, etc. would not be valid because all were destroyed by 
fire or war (Allied bombing destroyed a lot of  types).  
    The ICZN states in Recomendation 72D "Deposition in museums - An 
author who designates a holotype or lectotype should [not must - KC] 
deposit it in a museum or similar institution where it will be safely 
preserved and will be accessible for purposes of research. " 
    A mandatory deposition is only required for neotypes, Art. 75d(6): 
"a statement that a neotype is, or immediately upon publication has 
become, the property of a recognized scientific or educational 
institution, cited by name, that maintaisn a research collection,
with proper facilities for preserving name-bearing types, and that makes 
them accessible for study."  
    What is a neotype? Art. 75(a) "Designation of neotype - ...an author 
may designate another specimen to be the type (neotype) of a nominal 
species-group taxon if no holotype, lectotype, syntype, or prior neotype 
is believed to exist."

>In this case it is likely a plaster cast would be sufficient to
>capture all of the really important data, but it would be better
>if the original could be kept available just in case.

True.