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Re: Tyrannosaurus imperialis?

On Sun, 21 Jun 1998, GOBI 2010 wrote:

> T. imperiallus reminds me of something I heard a long long time ago. I 
> have a video on R. rex that I taped for a report, and the video stated 
> that T. rex's original name way Dynamosaurus Imperiallus (don't quote me 
> on the spelling) and that it was changed to T. rex because D... 
> Imperiallus was Toooo long. 

Length isn't a criterion for deciding whether to keep a name -- otherwise
_Micropachycephalosaurus_ would've been abandoned a long time ago.
Seniority is the only true criterion.

In 1905, in one paper, Osborn described two new theropod specimens and
gave them each a name: _Tyrannosaurus rex_ and _Dynamosaurus imperiosus_. 
(both great names!). They later turned out to belong to the same species. 
_T. rex_ was mentioned earlier in the paper, so it gets priority.

This brings up another question I've been meaning to ask. _Deinodon_ was
named half a century before _Tyrannosaurus_, and it was given its own
family. Thus, technically shouldn't the taxa Tyrannosauroidea,
Tyrannosauridae, etc. be called Deinodontoidea, Deinodontidae, etc.?
_Deinodon_ may be dubious, but no one disputes that it belongs in the same
family as _Tyrannosaurus_. There are other cases where families are named
after invalid/dubious genera: Ceratopsidae, Caenagnathidae, etc.

> I'd take that '7 foot long skull' thing with a grain of salt,J.M.
At *least* one grain. :)

--T. Mike Keesey                                   <tkeese1@gl.umbc.edu>
DINOSAUR WEB PAGES -- http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~tkeese1/dinosaur/index.htm