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Re: New articles online and in print

> The London specimen, not the feather,
> bears the name _Archaeopteryx lithographica_.


> Here's one discussion of the issue:
> http://odur.let.rug.nl/~nieuwlnd/source5.htm

Translation of the German parts...

"At the same time I receive a message from Mr. [bureaucracy title] Witte
that the almost complete skeleton of an animal covered with feathers have
been found in the lithographic slate [sic]. [Witte writes that] it show
manifold diversion from our living birds. I will publish the feather that
has been investigated by me with precise depiction. For the designation of
the animal I think the naming *Archaeopteryx lithographica* is apt."

"The fossil feather from Solnhofen presented by me probably comes from a
similar animal for which I have chosen the naming *Archaeopteryx
lithographica* (Jahrb. für Mineral., 1861. S.679)."

"The oldest name will thus have to be kept."

The first quote _could_ be read under the assumption that "the animal" _in
the last sentence_, unlike that in the first, is the unseen species that
both the London specimen and the feather belong to, rather than the concrete
specimen itself, and _this_ _could_ be read (next level of inference!!!) as
implying that the feather, found first, is the type. IMNSHO it's clear from
this quote alone that von Meyer's intention was to make the London specimen
the holotype.

The second quote, in which "the animal" is obviously the London specimen,
and in which von Meyer is not 100 % sure that that the London specimen and
the feather belong to the same species in the first place, is the _PROOF_
that the London specimen and not the feather is the holotype, and that the
feather is not the type of anything. This needs no ICZN Opinions whatsoever.

> God help us if the binomen _A. lithographica_ gets attached to the
> feather and is declared a _nomen vanum_:

_dubium_. _vanum_ ( = empty) would mean there were no type, while the
feather would be the type.

> _Griphosaurus_ Wagner, 1861 is the
> next available genus name for the feathered skeletons.  I'd hate to see
> Andreas Wagner receive any sort of legitimacy by being credited with the
> naming of the urvogel.

So would I, but this would bring the slight advantage of implying it's not a
bird, which under some minority phylogenies is a defensible point (unless
*Achillobator* is a bird). :-)