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Informal names (was RE: Meet me & see my website)



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Mickey Mortimer
>
> Thomas Holtz wrote-
>
> > > And, since
> > > Enigmosauria isnt defined (correct me if I'm wrong
> > > again) but shouldn't it go in quotes?
> >
> > Yes!!
>
> I must yet again question this practice.  Compsognathidae isn't
> defined, but
> we don't go putting it in quotes.  Nor are many families-  Ceratosauridae,
> Iliosuchidae, Dryptosauridae, Itemiridae, Coeluridae, Archaeornithoididae,
> Harpyimimidae, Garudimimidae, Deinocheiridae, Avimimidae, Caudipterygidae,
> Alxasauridae, Scansoriopterygidae, Archaeopterygidae, Yandangornidae,
> Omnivoropterygidae, every enantiornithine group except
> Euenantiornithes and
> Avisauridae.  The same goes for higher taxa.  Is Charadriiformes defined
> anywhere?  Is any modern bird order?

Each and everyone of these (except maybe Iliosuchidae) had an existence in
the formal literature independant of phylogenetic taxonomy.

>  There are no rules for defining
> family-level taxa in the ICZN,

Defining, no.  *COINING*, yes.  Priority, yes.  Form of name, yes.
Synonymy, yes.  There ARE family group rules in the ICZN!  (Not as many as
for species and genera, but they are there).

> and it doesn't cover higher taxa.

True.  BUT just because there is no formal international body governing
these rules doesn't mean there aren't well accepted traditions.  Like having
to have the name published in the text, not just a figure.  And like not
using a name from an undergraduate college-level handout (which is precisely
what Enigmosauria is: a construct by Mike Keesey in my HONR 259C (then 159C)
honors seminar.  Had I not posted it to the list, nor Mike, no one would
have ever heard of it).

A coining (if nothing else) in a peer reviewed papers are still, in the mind
of most researchers, a minimum necessity for any formal taxonomic name in
any system.  Enigmosauria doesn't get that, yet.  (And Darren admits that
the inclusion in the figure is a mistake).

> Virtually
> nothing is defined in accordance to Phylocode rules, which would
> only cover
> taxa defined on or after January 1 200x anyway.  There is no reason to
> recognize varying validity of names of higher taxonomic groups yet.

Sure there is!  Don't forget, the Phylocode only governs phylogenetic
taxonomy.  There are still plenty of folks out there who use older taxonomic
systems, so we don't want to go mucking things up and confusing them ahead
of time...

Take care,

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796