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Re: Pleurocoelus question



On Tue, 12 Jun 2001 12:55:02  
 Tim Williams wrote:
>
>Steve  Brusatte wrote:
>
>>However, if Astrodon and Pleurocoelus nanus are the same animal, doesn't 
>>Astrodon >have preference, as it was named first?  From what I have read, 
>>Astrodon was >named in 1859 by Leidy based on teeth found by a dentist in 
>>Maryland. >Pleurocoelus was named by Marsh in 1888.  Am I missing 
>>something?
>
>As Tom said, the name _Astrodon_ is probably a _nomen dubium_ and, as such, 
>should be restricted to the type material.  Therefore, _Astrodon_ cannot 
>have priority over any other name based on different material.

Okay, fine, but who is to say that Astrodon is a nomen dubium.  I was just 
talking about this with Ray Stanford off list (feel free to jump in, Ray :-).  
I've done a lot of reading on the early discoveries of this dinosaur for a 
project during the past week or so.  From what I have read, the first Astrodon 
specimens were discovered by a chemist, who showed the specimens (a few teeth) 
to a dentist.  This dentist, Christopher Johnson, named the tooth, diagnosing 
it as having a "star shape" when cross cut.  Leidy officially named the species 
and described it in 1865, keeping Johnson's diagnosis.  

To me, the species is diagnostic, unless tooth evidence does not count...
>
>
>>Wouldn't Astrodon be the proper name, therefore jeopardizing Texas' state 
>> >dinosaur (Pleurocoelus)??
>
>There is no evidence that _Pleurocoelus_ is found in Texas.  The 
>"Pleurocoelus" material from Texas most likely does *not* belong to the same 
>genus as the Maryland/Arundel material.  A lot of sauropod material from the 
>SW previously referred to _Pleurocoelus_ has already been assigned to other 
>sauropod genera.  Looks like another State Dinosaur might bite the dust!

Well, here you are absolutely correct.  I still haven't been able to find out 
who found the first Pleurocoelus bones in Texas.  And, yes, it is likely that 
the Texas material referred to Pleurocoelus is not the same as the Arundel 
dinosaur (P. nanus).  The Texas material is only referred to as Pleurocoelus 
sp., and to my knowledge it has neither been debunked or upheld in the 
literature as of now.  

Steve

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