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Re: New guy



In a message dated 96-02-05 20:43:25 EST, tmkeesey@wam.umd.edu (T. Mike
Keesey) writes:

>1. What's all this Ceratopia stuff? Back in the days of my youth I never 
>saw anything but CeratopSia. Someone get picky about the Latin or what?

Ceratopia is the etymologically correct name for the group usually (and
incorrectly) called Ceratopsia. The incorrect name has become entrenched in
the literature since it was coined by Marsh in 1890. I believe Oskar Kuhn
first pointed out the correct etymology (of Ceratopidae) in 1967, and many
British paleontologists have used Ceratopia, Ceratopidae, Protoceratopidae,
and so forth, since.

>2. Ditto for Therizinosauroidea and Segnosauria.

Once _Therizinosaurus_ was recognized as a segnosaur, the family name
Therizinosauridae took priority over such later segnosaurian family names as
Segnosauridae and Enigmosauridae. Grouping the segnosaurs into a single
superfamily made Therizinosauroidea the correct name according to ICZN rules
of priority. Since the ICZN does not govern zoological names above the family
level, the name Segnosauria can (and should) be retained when used for the
order or suborder.

>3. Did _Mononykus_ and the other alvarezsaurids have an arctometatarsalian 
>pes? I seem to remember reading that somewhere... If so, does that show 
>that birds are descended from arctometatarsalians, not maniraptorans?

I don't recall whether the metatarsals of _Mononykus_ were described, but I
do recall Tom Holtz once exclaiming gleefully that _Mononykus_ was an
arctometatarsalian. This should be easy to check.

Since I don't think _Mononykus_ was particularly birdlike (in the sense of
_Sinornis_, _Iberomesornis_, enantiornithans, etc.: here come the flames),
the state of its metatarsus is not particularly relevant to elucidating the
relationship of birds and theropods. But birds _are_ maniraptoran as far as
we can tell.