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re: "Megapnosaurus" says farewell...

Clearly you are not a systematist, perhaps not even a real zoologist, or
if you are, not very well trained (Princeton is it?). There is no such
field as paleontological nomenclature. It is ZOOLOGICAL nomenclature,
and is all the same pie.  The rules and concepts are exactly the same for
all animal taxa (that is a named group). 

Comparing the central storehouse of all zoological nomenclatural
information to a phone list from a small scientific society shows your
sense of unreality pretty well. Yep, comparing
knowledge of the membership list of SVP to Zoo Record is about
as ignorant a concept as I have ever seen!  Do you really think the world
revolves around you?  I know several real paleo systematists, and
thankfully, they are not to be lumped with you.

Don't really care if you like the name Megapnosaurus, no one who proposes
one can please everyone, and this one pleases enough.  I like it, and
several other people do too.  Article 18 of the ICZN clearly makes any
argument about its appropriateness moot. It is valid as
the correct name for a genus that includes the type species of Syntarsus
Raath, not Fairmaire, as long as there is not a type species of an older
genus name included in the same generic taxon.   Whether or not it is a
valid genus is for someone more knowledgable than either you or me to
decide.  I don't care, don't have an opinion.  If the genus is no good,
that is another of Raath's errors, not mine.  The CONCEPT of the genus is
his, not ours (see ICZN).

>From your arguments, it seems like deciding whether you want to recognize
a genus of dinos is a matter of whether you like the name or not?  Now
that makes your field look good.  A replacement name was needed under the 
ICZN, I have no opinion on whether the genus is a synonym or not,
doesn't matter to me a bit. We were fulfilling the requirements of the
ICZN, something real systematists do.

As for your proposed name, if Fabricius had been dumb enough to create a
homynym with Morpho (actually, the ICZN did not exist there, so the
concept would have been unfamiliar to him), there are numerous synonyms
available, so your petty name would not be valid anyway. Further, if it
were, it would be too bad you don't know something about languages so at
least you could derive it properly (recommendation 11A of ICZN), as we
did, or courteous enough to do create something euphonious
(that means can be pronounced easily and sounds good -- have you tried
Megapnosaurus out loud [Meg-ap-no-sar-us], by the way, really roles of the
tounge nicely), but I am learning a lot in this exchange about the
distribution of quality.  We would use it even though it violates 11A and
General Recommendation 5 of Appendix B.  We surely would decide to sink
the genus to get rid of the name! If your name was valid, we would use it
if the TAXON was valid, not sink the taxon because of the reasons you
cite.  How silly you look.


On Sun, 3 Feb 2002, Nick Longrich wrote:

> >     No one has any business dealing with zoological nomenclature 
> >who does not
> >know about these.  In the case of Syntarsus Fairmaire, it appeared on
> >schedule in both Zoological Record and the Neave catalog.  It was neither
> >obscure nor difficult to check on.
> ... on the other hand, one could argue that no one has any business 
> dealing with paleontological nomenclature who does not know about the 
> SVP member directory. The status of Raath's vital signs was neither 
> obscure nor difficult to check on.
>       In all honesty, it's my opinion that you've  got a lot of 
> nerve, I don't see any hesitation to insult Raath's scholarship but 
> there's no apology or humility displayed with respect to your own far 
> from trivial errors in this mess, just more attacks on another's 
> work. You act like paleontologists are being unreasonable, yet 
> somehow I doubt that the entomological community would collectively 
> "get a sense of humor and perspective" and find it terribly clever 
> to, say, rename that giant, beautiful metallic blue South American 
> butterfly with the wonderful name _Morpho_ to 
> _Littlesquishythingyonthebottomofmyshoeus_.
>       Gotta go with George- let's take _Coelophysis_ and sink this 
> ugly-ass name.