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Re: _Archaeoraptor_

Caitlin Kiernan wrote:

<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

  Actually, Sloan refers to the Czerckas' (both of
'em, Stephen and Sylvia) as the originators of the
name, therefore the proper citation would be
"Archaeoraptor liaoningensis" Czerckas and Czerckas
_vide_ Sloan, 1999.

  Such as *Erlikosaurus andrewsi* Barsbold and Perle
_vide_ Barsbold, 1983, wherein the last author cited
refers the nomen [and description] to the previous one
(or two, et al.).

  However, if my understanding is right on the matters
of naming a formal taxon and having it _accepted_,
then the aforementioned "Archaeoraptor" has to have a
formal description, however brief, that describes the
fossil in some detail, a name, an etymology, a
designated type specimen, and a photo or illustration
of the fossil accompanying the rest; only a few of
these were provided, and though the name appeared in a
peer reviewed journal (as did *Erlikosaurus,* in
Barsbold and Perle, 1979) the formal description is
the final word, and must also be published in a
peer-reviewed journal. _Enquirer_ doesn't cut it, and
to my understanding, neither does _Priroda_ [Nature],
a Russian popular press magazince in which
*Therizinosaurus* first appeared (Maleev, 1951).
Perle, 1976 was the first to formally publish the name
with a description of the type claws, so perhaps the
proper citation should be: *Therizinosaurus
cheloniformis* Maleev _vide_ Perle, 1976.

 For now, the name is valid only as a nomen nudum, as
far as I can tell, until whatever occurs to describe
it formally -- JVP might be a good choice, given the
oddities I [and others] have seen in the fossil. But
I'd better stop before I become a hypocrite.

Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

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