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

Re: Coelophysis and orphan lizard

In a message dated 96-06-10 16:07:10 EDT, theropod@garnet.berkeley.edu
(John R. Hutchinson) writes:

>I think the question here is not necessarily what to name the other
>scrappy stuff, but whether we need a new name, especially a genus. I
>still don't think we fully understand what degree of variation is
>present in Coelophysis, and slapping new names on material that isn't
>very diagnostic seems premature IMHO.

The problem is that Cope's material is indeed diagnostic, and that it
represents a theropod generically distinct from the Ghost Ranch
theropod. The diagnosis for Cope's material will be published in a
forthcoming paper by Robert Sullivan et al. The ICZN's action is
premature and wrong, in that it (1) was taken before all the relevant
comparative and stratigraphical information had been published; (2)
wrecks the historical aspects of Cope's work; (3) was done for dubious
reasons of "nomenclatural stability" (as if there could ever be such a
thing!); (4) institutionalizes the misidentification of the Ghost
Ranch theropod as Cope's genus _Coelophysis_; and (5) grossly
squelches the freedom of paleontologists to name taxa they believe are