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Re: Proper Vernaculars

At 10:24 AM 12/22/98 -0500, Jeff Poling wrote:
>At 11:39 PM 12/21/98 -0500, T. Mike Keesey wrote:
>>I'm having a bit of a time figuring out how to correctly refer to members
>>of certain taxa. Could someone tell me which is more proper for a member
>>of ...
>>... Tetanurae, tetanuran or tetanurine?
>>... Neornithes, neornithean or neornithine?
>>... Ornithothoraces, ornithothoracean or ornithothoracine?
>>... Neognathae, neognath, neognathe, neognathan, or neognathine?
>   Actually, a table showing vernacular forms of common taxa forms and,
>probably more importantly, obscure ones, might not be a bad thing to place
>in my Writer's Guide.  If anybody'd like to contribute, send it to me in

Unlike family group endings, there isn't a traditional formality to these

The "-urae" names have traditionally, in ornithology, taken a vernacular
form "-urine".  However, in publications since the 1980s, I've seen "-uran"
a lot, too.  (The name "Tetanurae" was coined to match the previous named
avian groups "Saururae" and "Ornithurae").

I have almost always seen "neornithine" in the avian and paleo literature.

I've seen both "-thoracean" and "-thoracine", in the few times I've seen a
vernacular of Ornithothoraces.

As for the "-gnathae" names (Paleo- and Neognathae), I've seen "-gnath" the
most common, but seen the others out there as well.  Hard to say.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661