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Re: Torvosaurus (or Megalosaurus) in Europe?



Tracy Ford wrote-

> There is nothing wrong with listing a nomen nudum as a nomen nudum. This
is
> not the problem I'm talking about.

Good.  I'm glad we agree.

> The difference in what you do and what George does is large. George will
> list the name and sometimes the abstract, but that's it, no diagnosis.
What
> you do is list the name, the number, the material, and a DIAGNOSIS. This
is
> what I and others have a problem with, the diagnosis.

Okay.  Thanks for clearing that up.  I never wrote a diagnosis or listed
specimen numbers of "Brontoraptor", but there are three other cases I can
think of that relate to this-
1. "Capitalsaurus"
http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/2002Jan/msg01049.html
What a mess that was. :-(  Here, I can see your point.  That was a really
tricky issue though, as the species had been described, just not the genus.
I'm still not quite sure about the proper way to refer to the material, as
it is a holotype of the species potens, but the genus "Capitalsaurus" can't
have a holotype.  Kranz apparently did connect "Capitalsaurus" with USNM
3049 in his 1998 article "Mostly Dinosaurs", so does that count as
officially tying the name with "Creosaurus" potens?  Kranz still wants me to
publish the name "Capitalsaurus", so I doubt anything negative can come of
my posts (worst case scenario- my name gets connected to the horrible name
"Capitalsaurus" ;-) ).  Still, I admit what I did was not entirely right and
after the ensuing thread, will be sure not to write such a post again.
2. "Anabisetia"
http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/2000Sep/msg00419.html
Here, I did nothing the authors didn't already do.  They included a
diagnosis and specimen numbers, just didn't illustrate it.  All I did was
copy their information for the list.  I condensed and organized what they
said, but otherwise added none of my own thoughts to the post.  So to me,
this is the equivalent of sending scans of the page to everyone, I'm just
repeating published information.
3. "Alashansaurus"
http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/2002Feb/msg00651.html
I was wrong semantically when I said "C. maortuensis is now known as
"Alashansaurus" maortuensis", as it should have read "C. maortuensis has
been renamed "Alashansaurus" maortuensis in an unpublished thesis".
However, I neither gave specimen numbers, nor a diagnosis.  I listed some
characters, but it was more a brief description than a diagnosis as most
aren't apomorphic.  However, we have the old "published species, unpublished
genus" problem again. What would you recommend if a described species is
being placed into an undescribed genus, but the genus name is public
knowledge?  Is it still alright to discuss the species and list holotype
number, material and diagnosis, as long as you don't mention the new name?
It would be odd to suddenly revoke the right to list holotype and diagnosis
of a taxon just because it's getting its own genus.  However, it would also
be confusing if one could write a diagnosis of "Chilantaisaurus" maortuensis
in one post and mention ""Chilantaisaurus" maortuensis was renamed
"Alashansaurus" maortuensis by Chure in his unpublished thesis" in another
post, but not in the same post.  As if the separation of data mattered.
It's all so confusing.
To avoid future problems like this, I'll be sure not to diagnose nomina
nuda.  Shouldn't be too hard, nearly all are completely undescribed and
inaccessable to me anyway.

Jaime Headden wrote-

> 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.

I, on the other hand, feel that a name without a description can be
discussed as long as it is not used in such a way that would make the
discusser the author.  Nomina nuda are convenient titles for specimens until
they are properly described.
Our differing viewpoints on this issue are just that- viewpoints.  Yours may
be more ethical to some, but mine is obviously accepted by many in the
paleontological community as well.

>   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 agree, and was careful not to call "Brontoraptor" published, nor advocate
it's use as an official name.

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

Indeed.  He says Megalosaurus is a metataxon (grrrr...) and is
distinguishable from comparable taxa (eg. Magnosaurus, Eustreptospondylus,
"Walkersaurus", Proceratosaurus).  As Poekilopleuron lacks a dentary, he
could not compare it to Megalosaurus.

>   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.

Is this an actual rule, or just your personal code of ethics?  It would seem
to me that improperly published names are used often in the literature (eg.
"Chaoyangosaurus" from 1983-1998, before it was described as
Chaoyangsaurus).

Mickey Mortimer