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Dumb Names (Prolacertiformes?)



Larry,
     Prolacerta is an unfortunate misnomer, but it is valid generic name
and we are stuck with it (and the same goes for the family name).  That is
why my list will only deal with names above family level, which are names we
can realistically do something about.
     If one recognizes a taxon Prolacertiformes, it obviously must include
Prolacerta (even under PhyloCode rules), but not necessarily Protorosaurus.
Prolacertiformes (sensu lato) is a paraphyletic group according to Dilkes,
and in my opinion one of those taxa that should be done away with and
cladified.  But neither Dilkes, nor Merck (or anyone else) seems to yet have
a good handle on how all the basal archosauromorphs are interrelated.
     Until it is sorted out (which could take many years), I continue to
recognize such groups as individual families (hopefully clades) of Order
Thecodontiformes, including:
Protorosauridae, Prolacertidae, Megalancosauridae, Tanystropheidae,
Sharovipterygidae, Longisquamidae, along with Doswelliidae,
Trilophosauridae, Rhynchosauridae, and the choristodere families.
     These nearly all seem to be good stable families, and in the Kinman
System each worker could code their interrelationships to communicate their
favored phylogeny.  No need for a formal name Prolacertiformes, which is
obviously controversial, confusing, and an unnecessary name.
     It is much easier and clearer to discuss interrelationships of the
various "prolacertiform" families.  And in that context, also whether the
{{Pterosauriformes}} marker belongs among those families (as favored by
Peters) or closer to other families (of Thecodontiformes) such as
Scleromochlidae (which is the more traditional view of Sereno and others).
    I posted my preliminary classification of Thecodontiformes last year,
and it should be in the archives (or I will send it to anyone who requests
it---offlist please).  Until publications by Dilkes or Merck or others
appear (2002?), I don't foresee any major changes, and even then most of the
changes will probably just involve rearranging and recoding the stable
families which we already have.
    Life is so much easier when you don't try to formally name ever clade
(whether they are valid or not).  And the rank of family is so useful, I
predict that even many diehard cladists will be reluctant to give up
families and genera in practice.
       -----Up on my soapbox again,
                               Ken Kinman
P.S.  I'll have to dig out my copy of Dilkes, 1998, but it has Mesosuchus
browni in the title (an internet search for "Mesosuchus and Dilkes" should
bring up an appropriate link to a full citation).  I think it was in
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.
********************************************************
From: "Larry Febo" <larryf@capital.net>
To: "Ken Kinman" <kinman@hotmail.com>, <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: List of Dumb Names begun
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 06:59:18 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Kinman <kinman@hotmail.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2001 10:56 PM
Subject: List of Dumb Names begun

>Dear All,
>     I've decided to start an Unofficial List of Dumb Confusing Taxonomic
>Names (Above Family Level).
>     Anyone wishing to nominate names for this list, let me know
(probably
>best offlist unless they are dinosaur taxa).
>                           -----Ken

An obvious candidate would seem to be Prolacertiformes. First because many
don`t see the group as being ancestral to modern lizards, and recently
because the groups namesake ...Prolacerta, is under investigation as
possibly itself not belonging to this group. Although looking at the foot
structure with the offset metapodial fifth toe, it certainly looks like it
belongs.

Can anybody give me the full  (Dilkes, 1998) reference to this topic, (or a
quick summary of why he dosen`t think that  Prolacerta or Protorosaurus
belong to the group termed Prolacertiformes)?

I guess, (if Dilkes is correct), the alternate term "Protorosaurs" is also
not appropriate.....then what should we call these critters???
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