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Re: Discovery could Endanger T.Rex Name
I don't think there's any danger of _Tyrannosaurus rex_ being supplanted by
_Manospondylus gigas_, even *if* Larson has the same animal.
I dealt with a very similar problem back in '92, with the mosasaur genus
_Clidastes_, which I'd known since about '86 was technically a nomen vanum.
Because Cope's generic holotype, a single anterior thoracic vertebra
designated _Clidastes iguanavus_, was indistinguishable from _Mosasaurus_
(which it almost certainly is, in actuality), Marsh's junior synonym,
_Edestosaurus_, would have normally supplanted _Clidastes_. However, I
proposed that the ICZN designate a new type species for _Clidastes_, Cope's
_C. propython_. My argument (Case 2718) was simply that replacing _Clidastes_
with _Edestosaurus_ would not lead to greater nomenclatural stability,
because the name _Clidastes_ was so familiar and so pervasive in the relevant
literature. The ICZN agreed and _Clidastes propython_ became the type
In the end, the ICZN is usually more interested in preserving stability and
avoiding decades of confusion, which replacing _Tyrannosaurus_ with the
obscure _Manospondylus_ would certainly create.
Caitlin R. Kiernan