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BALDOSAURUS & TROCHANTER NAMES



An article published last week in a local newspaper had a two page 
feature on new vert. palaeo. discoveries on the Isle of Wight. As 
you'd predict, it listed _Neovenator_, the _Baryonyx_ teeth (Martill 
and Hutt 1996), new specimens of _Hypsilophodon_, the new 
coelurosaur, and I think the Oligocene croc announced last month. 
However, a new one on me was _Baldosaurus_. I strongly suspect this 
was a popularization for _Yaverlandia_ (the putative 
pachycephalosaur).. otherwise, has anyone seen this name published 
before?

Onto something else, last week I made a concerted attempt to catch up 
with all the new ankylosaur literature. Ken Carpenter and Jim 
Kirkland (1998), in their review of Lower and mid Cretaceous North 
American taxa, bring up an interesting area I'd like people's 
opinions on.

Following arguments given by Gregory (1918), they note that 
nomenclature about archosaur femora is currently incorrect in that 
what most people are calling the lesser trochanter is not in fact 
homologous with the same-named structure in other reptiles and 
mammals, and that what most people are calling the greater trochanter 
is not actually this structure, but the crista trochanteris. As has 
been noted by some previous authors, what we have been calling the 
lesser trochanter should therefore be called the anterior trochanter. 

I am happy to accept all of this, and I agree with their conclusions 
BUT it occurs to me that we should maintain stability in the 
literature as well. As I have just finished writing up a paper that 
deals with nothing other than theropod femoral morphology, I 
initially thought it would be wise to change my nomenclature in view 
of Carpenter and Kirkland's arguments. But then I thought that all 
other recent descriptions of theropod femora have been 
consistent in using the 'wrong' terminology, so, should we really 
alter anatomical nomenclature at the risk of causing confusion? It 
also occurs to me that anatomical names are not necessarily applied 
to imply strict homology.. for example, Baumel (1979) and Baumel and 
Witmer's (1993) nomenclature for birds has recently been applied to 
pterosaurs, but with the strict disclaimer that application of these 
names indicates topographical similarity, and not genetic homology. 

I appreciate that different people have different views on this, and 
that a number of anatomists and morphologists insist that we should 
adopt the technical nomenclature set out in standard works, like the 
NAA and NA, but I am wondering if other archosaur workers would like 
to see the development of a new consensus whereby we all agree on 
exactly which terms to use. In other words, can everyone agree that 
we should call the 'lesser trochanter' of dinosaurs the anterior 
trochanter? I'd really like to hear views on this.

"Today all taxa are specialized and evolution has thus come to its 
end"

DARREN NAISH
darren.naish@port.ac.uk