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Re: Compsognathus



In a message dated 97-01-05 03:05:45 EST, jrhutch@garnet.berkeley.edu (John
R. Hutchinson) writes:

<< The use of "Sinosauropteryx" as it has often been termed on this list is
 premature according to this source, and several others who are involved
 with the specimen and familiar with taxonomic rules. So I'd advise some
 caution in using that appellation until a proper scientific description has
 been published. >>

"Sinosauropteryx prima" is, of course, still a _nomen nudum_, since no formal
description has been published. The ICZN treats _nomina nuda_ as vernacular
words with no scientific standing, but this is no reason not to use the name
freely. After all, "Sinosauropteryx" is more compact than "feathered small
theropod from China," and it has even appeared in a few scientific
publications as well as in various news releases. In due time the specimens
will be described and formally named, and we will then have a scientific name
for their species, which may or may not be "Sinosauropteryx prima."