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SYNTARSUS/MEGAPNOSAURUS



On the _Syntarsus_/_Megapnosaurus_ situation, Ben 
Henley wrote...
 
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Could someone possibly tell me what the best term to use is 
for a general audience? I understand that the name 
Syntarsus is invalidated, but it seems that the "joke" 
Megapnosaurus name might have been rejected by 
palaeontologists.
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I am currently involved in a children's book on dinosaurs 
and have been having the same problem. Firstly, as you 
know most palaeontologists involved are not at all happy 
about the way in which _Megapnosaurus_ was published, 
especially seeing as the original author of _Syntarsus_ (the 
theropod) was aware of the situation and was himself 
planning to emend it. Despite what the authors of 
_Megapnosaurus_ have said, it is clear that they 
unfortunately didn't do sufficient research in tracing Mike 
Raath (author of _Syntarsus_ the theropod).

Secondly, it is looking likely that the situation right now is 
not the end of the story and that official procedures on the 
name of the theropod are to go through the ICZN. 

Thirdly, because most dinosaur workers are not happy with 
this situation for the above reasons, there are plans to 
deliberately avoid use of the name _Megapnosaurus_ in the 
dinosaur literature. 

I therefore opted to follow Ben Creisler's advice and not use 
_Megapnosaurus_, but to state or infer that use of the name 
_Syntarsus_ for the theropod is presently pending review. 
The best way to deal with this for a caption might be 
"_Syntarsus_ (name currently pending revision) sp." or 
something similar.

-- 
Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045