[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus

<<  As I understand it, if a name has gone unused for a
 long time (e.g. _Apatosaurus_), but is a senior synonym of a name (e.g.
 _Brontosaurus_) which has been used extensively, the ICZN may be petitioned
 to have the less common name suppressed in favor of the more common name. Why
 this was not done is beyond me. _Brontosaurus_ appears to have been the
 perfect candidate. >>

I believe this cannot apply to the Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus case.  Apatosaurus
and Brontosaurus were used to describe -different- animals, two distinct
species, Apatosaurus ajax and Brontosaurus excelsus.  It's not as if both
names were describing the same animal and Apatosaurus was the one used less.
Rather, Brontosaurus excelsus was simply the species that got the most press.
Later, someone (who was it?) figured that A. ajax and B. excelsus were not
different enough to warrant two different genera (but different enough to
warrant two different species), and so B. excelsus was lumped into
Apatosaurus.  The only was to "resurrect" Brontosaurus is to demonstrate that
A. excelsus is different enough from A. ajax that it did belong in its own
genus, Brontosaurus, after all.  Unless that happens, Brontosaurus will be in
the taxonomic cemetery forever.  

(BTW, anyone feel free to correct me if I got my facts wrong!)

Rachel Clark

"Me Stan!  Bah-chomp, bah-chooey-chomp, bah-chooey-chooey-chomp!"