[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Dinosaur Genera List corrections #57



Prompted by Fred Bervoets, I reread my own account of the publication of the
name _Iguanosaurus_, excerpted here from _Dino-Frontline_:

<<Mantell, meanwhile, "ransacked"--in his words--the collection of the
Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons in London for more of the
strange teeth. There Samuel Stutchbury drew his attention to a newly prepared
iguana skeleton, and Mantell was pleased to see that his fossil teeth
resembled gigantic versions of the lizard's tiny teeth. As he noted in a
letter dated November 13, 1824 to Cuvier, he decided to name his new fossil
reptile _Iguanosaurus_ ("iguana lizard"). Conybeare, however, quickly advised
him to use the more appropriate _Iguanodon_ ("iguana tooth"). Mantell's
illustrated description, titled "Notice on the Iguanodon, a newly discovered
fossil reptile, from the sandstone of Tilgate Forest, in Sussex," appeared in
the 1825 volume (115) of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
of London. Just as the slightly earlier name _Megalosaurus_ inspired a host
of dinosaur names ending in -saurus (of which _Iguanosaurus_ was the first!),
so did _Iguanodon_ inspire a multitude of dinosaur names ending in -odon,
such as _Deinodon_, _Trachodon_, _Troodon_, _Rhabdodon_, and _Hypsilophodon_.
Usually, dinosaur names ending in -saurus are based on fossil bones, while
names ending in -odon are based solely on fossil teeth, or include teeth
among their most distinctive remains.
Interestingly, Mantell's earlier name _Iguanosaurus_ leaked out in an
anonymous news note in the December 1824 issue of New Monthly Magazine,
months before Mantell formally published the name _Iguanodon_. It was picked
up and used as a synonym of _Iguanodon_ in works by Ferdinand August von
Ritgen (1828) and F. Holl (1829), of whom the former is sometimes credited
with first usage of _Iguanosaurus_. Lacking a scientific description,
however, _Iguanosaurus_ is technically a _nomen nudum_ and ineligible to
replace the name _Iguanodon_, even though it was published first and was
employed in subsequent scientific works.>>

Accordingly, _Iguanosaurus_ is not a simple misspelling of _Iguanodon_ and
should be included as a _nomen nudum_ among the generic names on the list. So
add

Iguanosaurus [Anonymous] 1824 [nomen nudum]

and bump the genera count to 793.