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Re: oldest sauropod found

Mike Keesey (mightyodinn@yahoo.com) wrote:

<A _nomen oblitum_ is, as I understand it, is a name that has become
invalidated through either:
  1) utter lack of use for a certain time period (I think 50 years, and I
think _Manospondylus_ is an example)
  2) official ruling (e.g., _Rioarribasaurus_)
Although maybe it only applies to the first case....>

  According to the ICZN (4th edition), the term _nomen oblitum_ can only
apply to case 1, as per its literal reading as a "forgotten name" (as a
side note, the term "ubliette" (a place to forget) has the same origin as
"oblitum" and "obliterate", to wipe out [of memory]). A _nomen rejectum_
applies to case 2. In this manner, *Manospondylus* can never have priority
over *Tyrannosaurus* even if the two are found to be synonymous under any
circumstances. A _nomen oblitum_ may be used in reference as a junior
objective synonym, according to the ICZN, but never have priority. A
_nomen rejectum_ applies to a name that has been made a junior synonym to
favor another, if incorrect, name, such as in the case of *Coelophysis*
where a possibly diagnostic type was changed to the type of
*Rioarribasaurus*, and thus sinking the latter into the former. Even if
the holotype is once again found to be diagnostic, the name
*Rioarribasaurus* can never be used without application to the ICZN, if
one chooses to follow those rules. I doubt anyone would accept such usage
if applied otherwise, however.


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.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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