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It's possible someone's pointed this out already (I confess to not having
read every post related to the recent NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC article), but
since, by the ICZN code, pp. 100-101 of Vol. 195, No. 5 of NG, does
constitute a valid (albeit marginal) taxonomic description, then Stephen
Czerkas, when he *does* get around to describing the Liaoning fossil, cannot
be the *author* of the binomen _Archaeoraptor liaoningensis_. Rather, that
honor falls to Christopher P. Sloan, who wrote the NG article. Thus, the
correct name is _Archaeoraptor liaoningensis_ Sloan 1999, whether that was
Sloan's intention or not.
That's how severely NG has muddled this affair.
It also points to a need for vps to not release intended and unpublished
generic and specific names proir to formal publication in legitimate
journals. I've been disturbed at the trend of vps releasing names at press
conferences and in press releases, long before (sometimes years before)
publication. I know it's nice if the public can attach a name to a find, good
PR, etc. (especially with dramatic names like _Archaeoraptor_), but it's not
very good science.
Caitlin R. Kiernan