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Re: ICZN Details



In a message dated 10/8/99 10:58:24 PM EST, rjmeyer@ix.netcom.com writes:

<< I was scrolling through the DinoGenera listing and had a rather unusual 
thought (big shock, huh ;^).  I noticed that some genera have many junior 
synonyms (JS).  Now, I noticed that some of these JS are pretty cool names 
for a dinosaur (Brontosaurus being a JS to Apatosaurus, for example).  My 
question: under ICZN rules, are these names off-limits for future species?
 
 On one hand, I could see that since somebody assigned the name to a critter 
in a professional paper, that particular name will always be associated with 
that particular skeleton, even if that skeleton is later redefined to belong 
within another, already existing, species.
 
 OTOH, since the name is no longer in active use, it may be fair game to 
assign it to a valid discovery.  Which is correct? >>

Once a generic name is published as a scientific name, it cannot be used for 
another organism in the same kingdom, even if it becomes a junior synonym of 
another generic name. You can't name another dinosaur _Brontosaurus_ just 
because the original _Brontosaurus_ is considered a junior synonym of 
_Apatosaurus_. There is always (for example) the possibility that the 
synonymy is wrong.