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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 
species.

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