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Re: New taxon (and taxonomy) from Sereno's Science paper
In a message dated 6/28/99 11:06:11 PM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< A name's a name. Could be "Tim." But *Oviraptor* has
priority over *Caenagnathus* by 16 years. I could be
wrong about the use of genera as priority markers, or
is it suprageneric taxa that are used in this case
only? Sounds cool, either way, though, and I have no
real investment in the Ovi'oidea name, so if it gets
bumped (if it can?) then okay.
What's the rule book say? >>
Rule book says priority of genus Oviraptor over genus Caenagnathus is
irrelevant. Nobody is synonymizing the genera. Family-level name
Caenagnathidae was created in 1940, Oviraptoridae in 1976. When a
family-level name is created, all family-level versions of that name are
deemed created simultaneously (i.e., superfamily, family, subfamily, tribe,
subtribe, and any other rank that might be defined at this level), even if
they're not used explicitly. If you think about it, that's the only
reasonable way to do it, in the Linnaean system. It guarantees that, if there
is a superfamily Caenagnathoidea (for example), it will include a family
Caenagnathidae among its subgroups, which will include a subfamily
Caenagnathinae among >its< subgroups, and so on, down to the included genus
Caenagnathus, the type genus of those family-level groups.
So the name Caenagnathoidea already existed in 1940, even if it wasn't used
explicitly then, and it has priority over Oviraptoroidea, which didn't come
into existence until 1976, even if it wasn't used explicitly then. Since both
taxa contain the genus Caenagnathus, the first because Caenagnathus is the
type genus of Caenagnathidae and Caenagnathoidea, the second because Paul
Sereno put it into Oviraptoroidea, they are subjective synonyms.
Oviraptoroidea is the junior synonym, and thus its name must be abandoned in
favor of the senior synonym Caenagnathoidea.
Paul tells me the correction will appear in a forthcoming JVP article, for
which he now (arggh) has to change the galleys.