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RE: Segnosauria vs. Therizinosauria

> From: Timothy Williams [mailto:twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com]
> > > << ICZN would favor any "Therizinosaur-" taxon over any
> > >  "Segnosaur-" taxon, since Therizinosauridae was named before
> > >  Segnosauridae >>
> > >
> > > Not just favor: >mandate<.
> >
> >But this mandate *ONLY* applies to "family group" taxa; it would have no
> >bearing on taxa of suprafamilial "rank" of any sort.
> Except superfamily - even if the actual "rank" is discarded (a la
> PT),

Technically, the superfamily is part of the "family group", and thus not a
suprafamilial taxon!

> the
> -oidea suffix makes the taxon subject to ICZN rules.  Therizinosauroidea
> would have priority over Segnosauroidea, just as Spinosauroidea takes
> priority over Torvosauroidea.

Obviously someone not familiar with the mantra "Burn the Code"... :-)

> Segnosauria, Segnosauromorpha, Segnosauriformes, Segnosaurischia,
> Segnosaurofrankzappia... they aren't affected.  Segnosauridae,
> Segnosaurinae, Segnosauroidea, on the other hand, do have to follow ICZN
> rules on priority.  It's a holdover from Linnaean hierarchial
> taxonomy, but
> as far as I know it's still applies.

Also, be warned: the "-oidea" is *NOT* always used with the superfamily
group.  It has been applied to Phyla (Molluscoidea, the old name for a
phylum joining bryozoans and brachiopods), Classes (Echinoidea,
Holothuroidea, Asteroidea, Crinoidea, etc.), Subclasses (Ammonoidea,
Nautiloidea, Coleoidea), Orders (Graptiloidea, Dendroidea), and possibly
infraorders and such: can't recall any at the moment.

Note that none of the above are obscure groups to biologists and
paleontologists: these are some of the best known, longest studied, and most
highly monographed taxa in invertebrate biology and paleontology.  These
names are fully allowable within the context of the ICZN, because these are
suprafamilial taxa and thus outside their "jurisdiction".

Furthermore, many traditional superfamilies in the molluscan literature used
"-acea" rather than "-oidea" for superfamily suffixes; also once allowable
under the rules, although frowned upon.

[Incidentally, I hope this goes some way towards dismissing any notion that
taxonomy was all neat and tidy prior to phylogenetic taxonomy!]

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843