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Re: Caudipteryx and the dark side

In reference to "Nomingia", the working name was always Nomingia
brevicaudia, even before the inception of the Nat. Geo. article.  The name
"Nomingis" IS a typo and was to my knowledge, bantered about here and
elsewhere prior to when it should have been circulating in the general
populace.  I was involved from early on, for the purpose of producing a
"life restoration" and in fact at one point the initial concept for the lead
artwork in the N.G. feathered dinosaur article was going to be an adult
Nomingia racing from her nest in an attempt to rescue one of her wayward
"chicks" from menacing claws and jaws of a velociraptor.  Powers that be,
however, moved in favor of the mother Tyrannosaurus and hypothetical
feathered offspring but that's another story...  Ultimately, I was called on
to produce a vignetted image of Nomingia to accompany the note on its
description in Nature.  Obviously, the "theropod from Sleepy Hollow" look
would not suffice and it was agreed the head and presacral anatomy would
conform in general to oviraptorid specifications.  The crest is loosely
based on known animals but is not meant to duplicate the measurements of any
individuals in particular. The caudal fan was employed to emphasize the
"pygostylian" nature of the distal caudal verts although as you all know
there are no preservation of retrices or other soft anatomy with the
specimen.  It is however a legitimate interpretation given the evidence
shown in other examples of feather theropoda both extinct and extant.
Through the entire process Phil Currie always referred to it as Nomingia
brevicaudia and it was not until shortly before publication that the change
was made to "gobiensis".  A somewhat similar circumstance occurred sometime
back when the working title of "Sinavisaurus" was changed to
"Sinornithosaurus" right before it was published.


Mike Skrepnick

> <Described as Nomingia gobiensis, though I forgot
> where. (At times when National Geographic still wrote
> it was unnamed, The Dinosauricon used Nomingis
> brevicauda as its name, the s of which is easily
> identified as a typo).>
>   It isn't a typo; the name was the manuscript name
> for the animal before it was finalized by Barsbold et
> al., 2000b [in _Acta Paleontologia Polonica_
> 45(2):97-106], and was first mentioned here by Brush
> [in the archives]. Mike listed the name as a
> provisional reference, and that's all it was. I would
> actually have preferred the manuscript specific name,
> but oh, well...
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