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Re: Introducing: Sinovenator changii

David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

[answering a question about the fossil "Dave"]

<The cf. *Sinornithosaurus* specimen:>

  Problematically, this appelation is not correct, as the authors never
stated such a referral. This stems from the specimen falling out as next
to *Sinornithosaurus millenii* in Mickey Mortimer's analysis and
subsequently becoming referred to that taxon by conferrence, by Mickey. I
do not underestimate nor depreciate his ability to see possibly accurate
relationships, but as Tom pointed out, and has been alluded to in the
original paper, this specimen may involved several qualities of a basal
deinonychosaur along with *Microvenator* that would be questionable to
asusme it to any taxon at the moment. The "cf. Sinornithosaurus" label
should be held in reserve for the moment.

  This same can be handed down to GI 100/42, the big cassowary oviraptorid
that everyone called *Oviraptor* until about three years ago. Just last
year, with Clark, Norell, and Barsbold describing *Citipati,* the specimen
GI 100/42 was then suggested as possibly being referrable to *Citipati* or
close to it. This then provoked the appelation "cf. Citipati sp.?" ...
again, a problematic appellation of the use of the name. Relationships are
hardly established.

  On a similar thread .. the nickname "Dave" is used in the same light as
the nickname "Ichabodcraniosaurus" and "Elvisaurus;" In 1996, Novacek
wrote (paraphrasing) "...and the specimen was nicknamed
'Ichabodcraniosaurus'". The same goes for Jeff Martz' _Prehistoric Times_
coining of "Elvisaurus" as a joke to *Cryolophosaurus'* pompadour ...
_while_ Hammer and Hickerson had their paper in prep and their own nomen
chosen for that taxon. This renders either name unusuable and irreferrable
as generic indicators since they were never chosen as reference names for
the taxa, just the specimens as lumps of bone and rock. As easy as if I
called my lover "sweetie", this is not then a specific or taxonomic
indication of relationship. Nicknames are specifically dissallowed by the
ICZN (can't remember the exact article number, I really need to get that
volume) and as such they were never intended as taxa. One person pointed
out in private that there are those who think the specimen called
"Ichabodcraniosaurus" is a distinct taxon from *Velociraptor*, but this
does not anymore validate the nickname than if I called it "Dave". Having
a -saurus at the end of it doesn't make it more a taxon name than a

  BTW, just so nobody gets the wrong idea, most of all you, George, I am
not attacking George Olshevsky, just this particular case. I highly
respect the man, and love what he has done and what he continues to work
on with regards to unravelling dinosaur nomenclature -- this particular
instance is just a little tricky, and my own view on it has it that the
issue is problematic of several conditions of both international
nomenclatural ethics and personal sentiments. If nicknames are allowed on
the DGL, then the once-cited inferrence that "Sue" could be a unique
species of *Tyrannosaurus*, or even it's own binomen (called Tyrannosaura
regina at some point on this list), then it too is elligible for the DGL,
as is "Dave", which may still become it's own taxon according to the
original authors.

  Pardon me for my rants...

Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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