From: "Jerry D. Harris" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Discovery could Endanger T.Rex Name
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 08:43:14 MDT
> 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
Jerry D. Harris
AS OF JULY 1, 2000:
Dept of Earth & Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
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