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Re: Archie questions
Tim Williams wrote:
>I have a few questions which I would like to throw your way,
>1. To which specimen was the name _Archaeopteryx oweni_ attached to
>by Petronievics in 1917?
Petronievics assigned the name _Archaeopteryx oweni_ to the London specimen
for no readily apparent reason (according the De Beer 1954). He later
corrected this and referred to the London speciman as _A. lithographica_ in
>2. Are both _Archaeopteryx macrura_ and _Griphosauus longicaudatus_ - both (I
>believe) coined by Owen in 1862 - invalid names of the London specimen (and
>therefore objective junior synonyms of _A. lithographica)?
_A. macrura_ was used by Owen in his report to the Royal Society of London
in 1862 (Proc. R. Soc. Lond., 12: 272-273) and in his detailed description
of the London specimen (Trans. R. Soc. Lond., 153: 33-47). He errected a
new species because he erroneously considered that von Mayer had applied
the name _A. lithographica_ to the single feather only. An anonymous
article appeared in The Intellectual Observer (Vol I, June 1962, p. 367)
which translated von Mayer's paper, incorrectly, as saying that _A.
lithographica_ was 'similar to' the London specimen. von Mayer had, in
fact, referred the name to both the feather and the London specimen. This
was recognised by the Natural History Museum in the late 1860's, and Huxley
specifically refers to the London specimen as _A. lithographica_ in 1868
(Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 16: 243-8).
Thus _A. macrura_ is a junior synonym.
_Griphosaurus longicaudatus_ is an interesting one. Actually _Griphosaurus
longicaudatus_ does not exist as a published name. _Griphosaurus_ was
introduced by Andeas Wagner for the London specimen in 1861
(Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaft zu Munchen, Jahrgang 1861,
Vol II, Heft 2, pp. 146-54), actually giving it priority over von Mayer's
_A. lithographica_. But it is clear that this particular publication was
not published until early 1862 since, according to de Beer (1954), it
contains references to work published in 1862. However, Wagner did not
assign a species name.
Woodward, in December 1862, published an article entitled "On the feathered
fossil from the lithographic stone" (The Intellectual Observer, Vol II)
which contained a plate of the London specimen along with the list "_A.
lithographica_ von Mayer 1861; _Griphosaurus problematicus_ Wagner 1861;
_Griphornis longicaudatus_ Owen".
The name _Griphosaurus problematicus_ is incorrect, since Wagner did not
errect a species name (and it was published in 1862, not 1861).
_Griphornis longicaudatus_ was to be Owen's name for the London specimen,
but he changed his mind at the last minute - probably too late to change
the plate, but a line to this effect is included in Woodward's text.
Thus _Griphosaurus longicaudatus_, _Griphosaurus problematicus_ and
_Griphornis longicaudatus_ are invalid names given to the London specimen.
>3. Can anyone point me to a reference which explicitly rejects the
>validity of _Jurapteryx recurva_ as a distinct species rather than a
>juvenile specimen of _A. lithographica_?
Umm, do you mean _Archaaeopteryx recurva (Howgate 1984)?
I suspect such a rejection might be in the Solnhofen _Archaeopteryx_
conference in 1985.
Ilja Nieuwland would be the person to contact since he is working on the
history of _Archaeopteryx_.
de Beer, G. (1954) _Archaeoptery Lithographica_ British Museum, London. 68p.
Many say it was a mistake to come down from the trees, some say
the move out of the oceans was a bad idea. Me, I say the stiffening
of the notochord in the Cambrian was where it all went wrong,
it was all downhill from there.