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RE: Torvosaurus (or Megalosaurus) in Europe?

Tracy Ford (dino.hunter@cox.net) wrote to Mickey Mortimer
(Mickey_Mortimer111@msn.com) via the list:

<Of course you don't! You'll do what ever you want to do, screw everyone

  My opinion on Mickey's actions are not as severe as this. I do think
that he tries to be careful with what names he does disclose, but that my
opinions on this are a lot more rigorous ... I opine that a name without a
description be reserved and not discussed because the name will mean
nothing until it does. That is all. Redman's use of the name (possibly
coined by her, rather than Bakker, but published initially by her, is a
nomen nudum, and is connected to the material at the Tate only through an
unpublished manuscript. The actions of Redman (a co-author on the paper
describing the material in the Tate Museum) may have incontrovertibly
linked the name to the material, should there be any attempt to change
this in another author's opinions. The reasoning for the retraction of the
name as a description for the material is for the purpose of determining
whether or not the material is separable from *Edmarka*. The type material
of the latter taxon includes a scapulocoracoid nearly inseparable from
that of the "larger" material ... suggesting they may be congeneric. More
material is needed. As Bakker is no longer at the Tate and that museum's
funding considerably depressed as a result, this may take a long time.

Mickey wrote:

<<Oh, but it is.  Did you miss the paragraph->>

  I missed this, indeed. I wrote under the impression that the name had
not been included in the unpublished manuscript. I have not read that
manuscript in over a year, so this is my fault.

Mickey also writes:

<<Then don't publish your name before you describe it.  People aren't just
going to ignore data that's out in publically available resources.
Dissertations are one thing (as they're not technically published), but
when authors publish names in their papers without describing them, I
think they have a responsibility (though there are no doubt exceptions
when papers describing new taxa get held up, etc.).  Bakker continues to
use "Brontoraptor", and Siegwarth et al. obviously meant for people to
know that the material they described was to be called "Brontoraptor" at
one time. There is thus no problem in posting the information on a public
forum---the authors put it on a public website for crying out loud!>>

  At one time ... but the paper was never published. You may know they
wish one thing by Siegwarth's internet-posting of the paper, but this does
not make the name available to science, as is clear in the ICZN.
Internet-published or posted material is not "published" for the ICZN. I
follow this without the form of peer-review and accordingly as afforded by
_Palaeontologica Electronica_ (which I would consider published, but still
the ICZN does not). The paper was apparently not approved for publication
... is there a reason to consider this fallacious and then ignore
taxonomic etiquette to use the name? If I did publish a name of my own on
the internet ... that's my problem ... but such a problem arises in the
manner of the non-peer--reviewed Sloan, 1999 article in which he published
"Archaeoraptor" and Olson subsequently made the name of the reptilian
posterior half of the material (without knowing which of the slab was
truly non-avian, a practice I question and may effect the
*Microraptor*/*Archaeoraptor* controversy) and this is after knowing that
Xu Xing was already in the process of producing the taxon. You certainly
don't go around calling it "Archaeoraptor" until *Microraptor* get
published, and in fact this was thouroughly discussed on the list.

Tracy Ford writes:

<The authors can publish a name in parentheses, but YOU can't go and put
two and two together before the author can! What is your problem? How many
times do people have to tell you NOT TO DO SOMETHING! When will it get
into your THICK HEAD! Don't write things on the list, they get archived.
What this tells me is that you can't be trusted with information and
you'll do what ever you want. What this will do is piss off people and you
won't be well like in paleo, but apparently this is ok with you. NOW STOP


  I am familiar with Mickey a little more than you, and I can assure you
that Mickey _can_ be trusted. He has contained the personal communications
of authors for years without discussing them with anyone else, as I have
been aware for the last two years of our association. I think the above is
too severe a message for the practice, even though I might agree that
Mickey's a little to free with the use of names in what could be
considered unpublished by most people. Publically available and published
are two different things in taxonomy. However, I would ask that you calm
down a little; I know you well enough to know that you and I hold to the
same opinion on use of names in the literature and while I get angry
sometimes ... I try to keep it private ... it may be more effective than a
public outcry.

<You know I bet a pissed off Bakker would be interesting. I can ask him
his opinion if you want the next time I see him.>

  I would like to know personally whose name this was and who has the
right to proclaim it, should they choose. Bakker is known for imaginitive
names ... and this one does not appear to be one such in my opinion an
Bakkerian name. Redman has published the name in non-technical work, and
Siegwarth had the choice to put the manuscript on the web. I think these
may have been problematic in the issue to the name in question, for the
purpose of publication. Thus I can see both points of view, and take my
own stance.

<Let me put it another way. If you publish something on an animal that
hasn't been described by the author that would amount to a description of
the animal this would be very unethical.> 

  We are fortunate that the list could not be considered a publication
source. But unfortunate that many on this list who do not know better
would use the information produced or introduced on it as the source for
information that _will_ be published. If so, the producer of the info on
the list is at fault, but so it the one who published. I take caution then
to warn those who would present information as well as take it from this
list frugally and without question to issues of priority.

  Mickey writes:

<Interesting, especially considering Rauhut didn't include Megalosaurus.>

  It was my udnerstanding that he considered *Megalosaurus* a metataxon
that was the same as *Poekilopleuron* ... guess I need to check my source

  and again:

<Richardoestesia is used everywhere in Currie et al. except in figure 8.7
C (pg. 121), where Ricardoestesia is used.>

  Once again ... my mistake for the use of "h" ... however, my copy has
only one spelling in it's entirely ... I scanned both the pages cited from
George and yourself and could not find a use that was different from the
very first.

  Tracy writes:

<<Have you talked to the authors of the paper to find out which way they
want the name to appear? I have!>>

  I know not the rules that apply to the time available (over 12 years)
between publication and availability of first emmendation. However, the
name published is the name published, through whatever error of the
publishers or authors. I an definately state that as of now, the ICZN does
not allow emmendation to genera or species, even if incorrectly formed.
This is because once a name is published ... it's published.

  I can't stress this enough ... a name is available for use (except
through private discourse and only among people who already know the name
or in which the discourse of the name is approved) only when published by
dictates of the ICZN. I would add peer-review to this. Public discourse of
the name is contrary to this, and actions like Siegwarth's should be
considered deeply before acting apon it. It is clear from authors that
dissertations similarly do not count. This forum is public, and the same
rules apply as if it were publication.

  I think this is covered in the ethics section in the Dinolist Administrivia.

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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