Subject: Richardoestesia vs. Ricardoestesia
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 17:45:59 +0000
Ben Creisler firstname.lastname@example.org
Richardoestesia vs. Ricardoestesia
George has argued that the correct spelling for
Richardoestesia should be Ricardoestesia, and has used
this emended spelling in his publications. Mickey used
Ricardoestesia in his useful recent write-up. Be that as
it may, Richardoestesia is the spelling accepted in the
Zoological Record, and virtually all published technical
articles discussing the taxon still consistently use the
spelling Richardoestesia . Recent examples include:
Prieto-Marquez, A., R. Gaete, A. Galobart, & L. Ardevol.
2000. A Richardoestesia-like theropod tooth from the Late
Cretaceous foredeep, south-central Pyrenees, Spain.
Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae. 93 (3) : 497-501. Abstract:
A theropod tooth reminiscent of the teeth of the North
American species Richardoestesia gilmorei (Dinosauria:
Theropoda) has been identified on the basis of its overall
morphology and its rectangular and minute denticles. It
was found associated with a dinosaur nesting site in
deltaie deposits of the Aren Sandstone Formation near
Tremp (Campanian, Late Cretaceous, south-central Pyrences,
Spain). These preliminary results extend the fossil record
of this taxon in Spain and would support the hypothetical
survival of an Early Cretaceous Euramercian theropod
lineage as far as the Late Cretaceous of southwestern
Fiorillo, A. & R. A. Gangloff. 2000. Theropod teeth from
the Prince Creek Formation (Cretaceous) of Northern
Alaska, with speculation on Arctic dinosaur paleoecology.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 20(4):675-682.
Sankey, J. 2001. Late Campanian southern dinosaurs, Aguja
Formation, Big Bend, Texas. Journal of Paleontology. 75(1)
I was consulted about the name Richardoestesia isosceles,
so my name is associated with this spelling. George has
cited the provisions in the ICZN (article 32; 3rd and 4th
editions) for revising the original published spelling.
I'm afraid I have to take issue with such an application
of the provisions. Although the original authors may have
intended to use the spelling Ricardoestesia, the published
spelling Richardoestesia does not meet the Code's
threshold for justifying a revised spelling as I read the
ICZN text. A crucial detail here is a provision of
32.5.1: "Incorrect transliteration or latinization and use
of an inappropriate connecting vowels are not to be
considered inadvertent errors."
The tricky point here is that Medieval Latin allowed BOTH
Richardus and Ricardus as Latinized forms of Richard.
The "ch" in this case would be pronounced like "k" because
of its Germanic derivation (from ric hard, an Ancient
Germanic phrase meaning "powerful leader"). The curious
may search in Yahoo for either "Richardus" or "Ricardus"--
both queries bring up strings of hits on Latin texts or
Latin document titles available online. For example,
prior to Shakespeare, there was a play called Richardus
Tertius [i.e., Richard the Third] written by Dr. Thomas
Legge. But there was also a famous document about Richard
the Lion Hearted during the Third Crusade called
Itinerarium Peregrinorum et Gesta Regis Ricardi [The
itinerary of the pilgrims and the deeds of King Richard].
Had the published name been misspelled "Picardoestesia"
when the name is said to honor Richard Estes, changing the
name to Ricardoestesia arguably could be justified under
the ICZN--though it appears that the Code is more lenient
about emending species names than generic names. Merely
altering the latinization of a generic name with a
spelling that obviously already refers to someone named
Richard Estes, however, does not fit the provisions as I
read them--particularly since the published latinization
is perfectly acceptable on linguistic grounds. Moreover,
the alternate spelling of the name Ricardoestesia in a
caption would not appear to be adequate justification
since the Code indicates that publication of a name in a
caption does not make a name available (ICZN 13.6).
Usage in technical literature has pretty well decided the
issue as I see it and, irksome as some may find it, the
original published spelling Richardoestesia is the valid
spelling for the name under the ICZN.