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_Archaeoraptor_ Czerkas vide Sloan, 1999 [nomen nudum] (was Re: "Archaeoraptor" really two animals)



jhecht@world.std.com (Jeff Hecht) wrote:


   > At 9:35 PM -0700 4/7/00, Phillip Bigelow wrote:

    >Another case of National Geographic Society "doing" science via a
press
    >conference?  AAARRGGGHHH!
    >
    >[clipped]
    >A peer-reviewed, team-authored paper, such as a Rapid Communication
in
    >_JVP_, would have been a more appropriate venue.


    <<<In this case, I disagree. The news of the fakery has been out for

    months in the press, and it was appropriate to confirm it when the
    definite comparison was made. This is not the sort of development
    that would get fast turnaround in the big journals since
    Archaeoraptor was never published in the first place.>>>


I beg to differ.
It has been published for months. In a fashion.  However, I don't know
whether it was published in a way that would qualify under ICZN rules.
It barely fullfills enough criteria to make it a close call.  No
specimen number was mentioned in the article, so that in itself may
exempt the publication from being authoritative....but I just don't
know.  (see below).

And that is the problem.  What a mess. Why did Nat. Geog. Soc.
prematurely allow the name to be published, why did Nat. Geog. Soc.
prematurely allow a photo of the specimen to be published, and why did
Nat. Geog. Soc. prematurely allow Czerkas to give a brief (albeit
rambling and overgenerallized) description of the specimen?  Sure, I
realize they control Steve C.'s purse strings on this project (and I
have no problem with that; I think it's great that they fund dinosaur
research), but geez, a little _publicus restraintus_ on Nat. Geogr.
Soc.'s  part wouldn't hoit!!


<<<It might not even be publishable as such, only as part of an overall
description of the bird part of Archaeoraptor (said to be quite
interesting). -- Jeff Hecht>>>


George Olshevsky's web page has the official name of the chimera listed
as:

 _Archaeoraptor_ Czerkas vide Sloan, 1999 [nomen nudum]

 Sloan is the unwitting namer of the specimen.  He is not a
 paleontologist, being the senior assistant editor of _National
 Geographic_ magzine.

 The authoritative reference for the nude name (per ICZN rules) is:

 Sloan, C.P. 1999. Feathers for T. rex? _National Geographic_
196(5):98-107.


And now (from the press release) there are rumblings that  the "paper"
that will modify (correct/reassign) the published nomenclature may
*also* be first published in _National Geographic_
magazine.....<sigh....>


                   <pb>