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Fwd: Tyrannosaurus imperialis?
This didn't make it to the list the first time around, so here it is again.
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In a message dated 98-06-21 14:31:36 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< 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. >>
The family-level taxon Tyrannosauridae was established by Osborn in 1906. The
family-level taxon Deinodontidae was established with that exact spelling by
Barnum Brown in 1914, so Tyrannosauridae, Tyrannosauroidea, Tyrannosaurinae,
Tyrannosaurini have priority over Deinodontidae, Deinodontoidea,
Deinodontinae, Deinodontini respectively. Priority of family-level taxa is
independent of priority or date of formation of included generic-level taxa.
Cope (1866) used the family name Dinodontidae, but this is (fortunately)
considered an original misspelling and is therefore invalid (and: the spelling
Dinodon was considered by Cope to be preoccupied by Dinodus, which is no
longer the case in modern nomenclature; and anyway he should have spelled it
Deinodon, the way Leidy did originally--but things were more liberal spelling-
wise in those days). Russell (1970) argued that since Deinodon is a doubtful
genus based solely on nondescript teeth (which could belong to Albertosaurus
or Daspletosaurus, or to a distinct genus), its name should not be used as the
type of a family-level taxon (because the family-level taxon is thereby
rendered a doubtful name as well), so he used Tyrannosauridae for the family
name because it is next in line after Cope's misspelled "Dinodontidae."
The name Tyrannosaurus gigantus appeared in print in Newsweek October 1, 1990
in reference to "Sue," but this is a nomen nudum and doesn't mean "Sue" is the
type specimen of this "species." Dynamosaurus imperiosus is based on material
virtually indistinguishable from the type material of Tyrannosaurus rex
(unlike, for example, the skeleton AMNH 5027) and is almost certainly the same
species. Too bad, nice name.
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