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Re: Discovery could Endanger T.Rex Name




>
> If that's the case, Larson said, rules of paleontology
> say the first name would take precedence.

heres some gumph from the ICZN (someone will correct me if wrong !);

i guess that there is a clause that says that if a name has been in
common usage (and there is time limit for this, I forget) but that
subsequently turns out to be preoccupied (like T rex in this case), then
the younger (more used) one can be made a nomen protectum ?.

the older name gets designated a nomen oblitum ?

Unless I'm mistaken, the limit on nomina oblita is 150 years...? (My copy of the ICZN is already packed...) So _Manospondylus_ doesn't fall under the purview of being past the limit and thus cannot be used.


However, it would be a relatively simple matter for someone to do what Ned Colbert did for _Coelophysis_, and appeal to the ICZN to make an exception in the case of _Tyrannosaurus rex_ and supercede its own rules to preserve the latter in favor of _Manospondylus_. Regardless of whether or not there are any paleontologists on the ICZN board, I think all of them will know the name _Tyrannosaurus rex_, understand its widespread usage, probably will never have heard of _Manospondylus_, and know what kind of havok trying to change that will wreak! (Too bad no one did that for the _Apatosaurus_/_Brontosaurus_ thing...although I myself prefer the former, I am constantly answering questions about the name change from both children and adults!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jerry D. Harris

AS OF JULY 1, 2000:

Dept of Earth & Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
240 S 33rd St
Philadelphia PA  19104-6316

Phone: (215) 898-5630
Fax: (215) 898-0964

E-mail: jdharris@sas.upenn.edu
and     dinogami@hotmail.com

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