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WHY SCROTUM IS NOT VALID
Regarding the words 'scrotum humanum' and their attachment to things
dinosaurian, Laurie Nyveen asked...
> Can someone explain why - other than sheer embarrassment - this name
> is not accepted? Sure, it's a misnomer, but shouldn't it retain at
> least the status of a nomen dubium?
Despite earlier comments to the contrary, Scrotum humanum was never
proposed as an ostensibly valid name. Plot (1677) figured a bone
fragment, currently thought to be the distal femur of _Megalosaurus_
(or a similar big theropod) in his book _The Natural History of
Oxfordshire_. He thought that it may have been the petrified scrotum
of a large human, and on his plate figuring this bone, it is labelled
'Scrotum humanum'. He was not proposing Scrotum humanum as a
taxonomic name for the bone, plus he was writing pre-Linnaeus (1758)
in any case (names proposed pre-Linnaeus are irrelevant to
post-Linnaen taxonomy) .
Those authors (Bev Halstead and a few others I think) who suggested
that _Scrotum_ was proposed as a valid taxonomic name, and that it
may therefore have been a senior syonym of _Megalosaurus_ (in which
the first name ever awarded to an extinct dinosaur would honour human
genitals), were therefore in error.
"He's been skinning budgies again"