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Re: Rapetosaurus stuff



In a message dated 8/1/01 5:58:57 PM EST, Mickey_Mortimer11@msn.com writes:

<< Damn the current trend to trash old species just to name a new one.  They 
should designate one of the "Titanosaurus" madagascariensis caudals the 
lectotype and name one of the new genera "genus A" madagascariensis.  "T." 
madagascariensis is obviously not nomen dubium if its remains can be referred 
to two other species.  It's simply a chimaera and must be split. >>

Absolutely correct. The idea is to >bend over backwards< to try to preserve 
the original name, not to discard it out of hand. In the case of the 
Madagascar titanosaurs, it seems we must declare the non-Rapetosaurus-like 
caudal the lectotype of T. madagascariensis, then remove the species from 
Titanosaurus (unless the caudal is reasonably similar to the known caudals of 
Titanosaurus, of course), and (perhaps) erect a new genus for T. 
madagascariensis if no other titanosaur genus is appropriate.

The fact that Opisthocoelicaudia seems to wind up in the middle of the 
titanosaurs despite its incredible array of completely non-titanosaurid 
features is making it look more and more as if it is a subjective synonym of 
Nemegtosaurus. Rapetosaurus apparently had an Opisthocoelicaudia-like body 
and a Nemegtosaurus-like skull. Also, there seem to be several distinct 
families of sauropods previously referred to Titanosauridae. And it's hard to 
believe that Rapetosaurus had dorsal nostrils >and< pencil-like teeth located 
only anteriorly in the jaw, and it's >not< a diplodocid.

Sauropods, what a mess.