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Re: VERY Stupid question, but I dont know the answer...



On Wed, 20 Feb 2002, dachande wrote:

> Here is the question:
> Its about dinosaur grouping.As all of us know there are many dinosaur
> familys like tyrannosauridae, spinosauridae, dromeosauridae and many
> others.My question is why is a family named after one individual from
> many others of its family.For example, why couldent the family
> tyrannosauridae be named daspletosauridae, daspletosaurus is from
> tyrannosauridae, so why was T-rex chosen to represent the family? I know
> that the characteristics of the T-rex resemble those to others of its
> group, but dont the characteristics of daspletosaurus resemble those of
> T-rex.
>  I am very confused could someone explain this to me?

Under ICZN rules, it comes down to which family name was published first.
For example, Therizinosauridae was published before Segnosauridae.  So
when researchers decided that _Therizinosaurus_ and _Segnosaurus_ should
belong to the same family, Therizinosauridae had seniority as the name of
that family.

There are, however, cases where seniority seems to be ignored
(Deinodontidae vs. Tyrannosauridae).

Nobody has ever named a "Daspletosauridae". When _Daspletosaurus_ was
named in 1970, it was simply placed in the already-existing Familia
Tyrannosauridae.

When PhyloCode is implemented, there will be another set of rules
taxonomists may adhere to. According to these rules priority goes to the
taxonomic name which gets published with a phylogenetic definition first,
and there will be no such rank as "family", only clades that happen to end
in "-idae" or "-aceae".

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