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Re: ORNITHODESMUS



In a message dated 98-02-25 00:17:24 EST, darren.naish@port.ac.uk writes:

<< More likely (from what I've heard), BMNH R176 - the pterosaur - will 
 be made the new type for the genus _Ornithodesmus_. After all, this 
 name is well established for this animal. Do you know otherwise 
 George? >>

This would be impermissible under normal application of ICZN rules. You can't
change the type species of a genus, just like you can't change the type
specimen of a species, without a formal vote by the committee. This was the
big problem with _Coelophysis_ and _Rioarribasaurus_: those who wanted to
retain the name _Coelophysis bauri_, which had been unjustifiably applied to
the Ghost Ranch theropods, for the GR theropods had to petition the committee
to change the type specimen from Cope's material to the specimen chosen as the
type specimen of _Rioarribasaurus colberti_. They won their case (sad to say),
thereby institutionalizing an error. But they did go through the process.

Likewise, to change the type species of _Ornithodesmus_ from _O. cluniculus_
to _O. latidens_ just because everyone has come to think of _Ornithodesmus_ as
a pterosaur is idiotic; it's just as easy, and historically proper and
correct, to classify _Ornithodesmus_ as a theropod and create a new name for
the pterosaur _O. latidens_. And it wouldn't require an ICZN ruling, either.