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RE: Specific names



I wrote:

<<(Avimimus) portentosus>>
  "fortuitous bird mime">

Tom Holtz wrote:

<In this case, "portentosus" is meant as "portent", as
in "hinting at things to come" (i.e., modern style
birds). Of course, it is hard for a Maastrichtian
dinosaur to be foreshadowing events which had already
happened... :-)>

  At the time, it was the best they could do, I'm
sure, if one ignored *Archaeopteryx*.... A point,
though, while Lat. _portentosus_ has the joint meaning
of "hinting at things to come" and "fortuitous"
(virtually the same thing), the latter is more easily
used in writing the name out. A point I'm going to
make when I work a page out for *Avimimus* is that
Kurzanov supplied the following etymology for it,
translated and transliterated from the Russian:

Kurzanov, S.M. 1981. _O neobichnikh teropodakh iz
verkhnego mela MNR_ [On unusual theropods from the
Upper Cretaceous of the MNR]. _Trudy -- SSMPE_ 15:
39-49. ::

pg. 40 --
"Nazvaniye roda ot avis, lat. -- ptitsa i mimus, lat.
-- pritvorniy.
...
Nazvaniye vida ot portentosus, lat. -- neobiknovenniy.

[Genus translation: from _avis_, Lat. -- bird and
_mimus_ Lat. -- pretended, feigned.
...
Species translation: from _portentosus_, Lat. --
unusual.]"

  If Kurzanov read "unusual" into the Latin word, and
this is incorrect, it's his fault, but this is
apparently his intent in the translation, rather than
"portending;" as Kurzanov apparently intends the name,
it goes like this: "unusual pretend bird." This
implies convergence, and he refers it to the
Theropoda, and the "Coeluroidea," given as a
_nadsemeystvo_ (or superfamily) so I don't think he's
misspelling Coelurosauria. Who knows. Does anyone know
if he's going to be at SVP?


=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

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

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