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Family name for Yandangornis



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org
Subject: Family name for Yandangornis

I finally got a copy of the Yandangornis article. I recall 
some discussion over the past few months of the spelling 
of the family name "Yandangithidae," which appears to be 
garbled in the English translation. (The Chinese term 
would be "Yandang niao ke [Yandang bird family].")

According to ICZN 4th edition Art. 29.4 Acceptance of 
originally formed stem: "If after 1999 a new family-group 
name is based on a generic name which is or ends in a 
Greek or Latin word or ends in the Greek or Latin suffix, 
but its derivation does not follow the grammatical 
procedures of Articles 29.3.1 or 29.3.2, its original 
spelling must be maintained as the correct original 
spelling, provided
29.4.1 it has a correctly formed suffix [Art. 29.2], and
29.4.2. its stem is formed from the name of the type genus 
as though it were an arbitrary combination of letters 
[Art.29.3.3]."

Since Yandangornis dates from 1999 (Yandangornis Cai & 
Zhao, 1999), any family name formed from the generic name 
would be covered by the 3rd edition of the ICZN. Moreover, 
the spelling "Yandangithidae" does NOT treat the genus 
name Yandangornis as an arbitrary combination of letters 
(i.e., Yandangornisidae) as required by 29.4.2. Therefore, 
the family name at least should be corrected to 
Yandangornithidae as provided under the 3rd edition of the 
ICZN. The proposed avian order "Yandangithformes" 
(correctly Yandangornithiformes) is not covered by ICZN 
provisions (which only apply up to the level of the 
superfamily) but since the Latin spelling appears to be a 
mistranslation from Chinese "Yandang niao mu [Yandang bird 
order]", a good case can be made for using the corrected 
form Yandangornithiformes.