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Fwd: question on naming conventions (SVP abstract)



Betty asked me to forward this to the list.
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This is not directly dinosaur related.  It's a nomenclature question.

In the SVP abstracts I've come across a species name convention that
confuses me a tad.

The name is "_Tseajaia campi_ Vaughn"

(abstract is "Phylogenetic relationships of _Tseajaia campi_ Vaughn to
other Paleozoic tetrapods based upon post-crania characteristics")

Is the last part to be considered an honorific perhaps? 

Or does this use imply that there is a population of these creatures
that is so well known that a set of characters or minor variation sets a
small set of it's members slightly apart from the rest of a mere
species?

In plant lists in gardening publications this naming convention would
mean that someone had found a particular variation on the species and
either cloned it or put it through a controlled breeding program to
select for specific characteristics.

How does this apply to a fossil species?  
Do we know _Tseajaia campi_ so well that we can spot a population within
it?  
Why do the variations not constitute the need of a new species?  What
keeps them minor-enough?
Is it perhaps minor enough because it's assumed the populations still
interbreed, and if so, how is this known?

-Betty Cunningham

(George,
 could you forwards this to the dinosaur mailing list for me? I can't
send directly to any usc.edu list till someone whaps some heads in the
usc.edu network department.  I thought you might also be able to answer
this since you're such a whiz on the ICZN stuff))


-- 
Flying Goat Graphics
http://www.flyinggoat.com
(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)
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