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Re: Whatever prima

At 07:14 AM 4/14/97 -0400, Ronald Orenstein wrote:
>At the moment I am about to refer to "Sinosauropteryx" in a book on birds -
>I need to know if the use of this name is correct.  Can anyone advise me?

   For whatever it's worth:


                        Sinosauropteryx prima proper?

   From: Dinogeorge@aol.com 

   Phil Currie informs me that the feathered theropod from China was
formally named and preliminarily described in the following paper: 

   Ji Qiang & Ji Shuan, 1996. On discovery of the earliest bird fossil in
China and the origin of birds. Chinese Geology 10 (233): 30-33. 

   [The journal is a Chinese language publication.] 

   I have yet to see the paper, but the feathered theropod is, as noted in
numerous news accounts, named Sinosauropteryx prima. Its publication date
evidently precedes the news releases I noted in my previous post on this
species, so the genus was not a nomen nudum in those news releases. Too bad
none of them cited the paper itself. A longer, more detailed description is
in preparation. 

   In addition, the genus was placed in its own family, Sinosauropterygidae,
and order, Sinosauropterygiformes, as if it were some kind of paleobird
genus rather than a theropod dinosaur. 

   From: Dinogeorge@aol.com 

       In a message dated 97-01-26 03:07:05 EST, jpoling@dinosauria.com
(Jeff Poling) writes: 

       Since George announced that a paper has been published on
Sinosauropteryx, a thought suddenly crossed my mind (I know, it scared me,
too): does this mean that Sinosauropteryx prima is the proper name of the
animal, and a more "suitable" name cannot be applied to it?

   Yes, this is exactly what it means. The only ways the name can be changed
are (1) to synonymize the genus with a genus named earlier (Compsognathus is
a possibility, but from the photos I've seen, this is unlikely) or (2)
petition the ICZN to suppress/change the name on the grounds that it is
inappropriate (by, say, being morally offensive to some people: very
difficult to establish!). 

   Copyright © 1997 by respective authors. The message texts above were
public posts to the Dinosaur Mailing List. 

   Revised January 27, 1997 


   What's of interest to me is the use of the name _Compsognathus prima_ in
the recent Audubon article.  George, does the later publication mean that
_Sinosauropteryx_ is now considered a junior synonym, or does some sort of
monograph have to appear in a "sanctioned" publication?

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