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RE: Tarbosaurus?

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> ceevans@home.com
> Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2000 12:30 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Tarbosaurus?
> Hey Everybody,
> I've been wondering about this for a while now. Is Tarbosaurus still a
> valid species name?

Well, it's a genus name, not a species name...

Anyway, it is a good useable name.  By priority, the name of the big
Mongolian tyrannosaur (assuming it is a single species) is _Tyrannosaurus
bataar_.  _Tarbosaurus efremovi_ was used for a more complete, smaller
specimen: most (but not all) workers consider this specimen a subadult of
the first one.

So, given this, there are two choices: call it _Tyrannosaurus bataar_ or
call it _Tarbosaurus bataar_.  Should you have evidence that the Mongolian
form is more closely related to _T. rex_ than to any other named
tyrannosaurid, then you can use the first of these names to convey that.
However, there is nothing illegitimate about using the name _Tarbosaurus_,
and for that matter should you consider _Tarbosaurus_ to be more distantly
related to _T. rex_ than some other named tyrannosaurids, then you most
certainly SHOULDN'T call it _Tyrannosaurus bataar_!

Hope this helps,

                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