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Re: Typical and less typical types
Christopher Taylor wrote:
As such, the term "nomen dubium" (while very useful) has no actual
You are right; the decision of what to call a _nomen dubium_ is subjective,
but not arbitrary. The case of _Antrodemus valens_ versus _Allosaurus
fragilis_ is a good example. Because of the 'shonkiness' of the _Antrodemus
valens_ type material (a partial caudal vertebra), this taxon cannot be
diagnosed at the species level. Thus, it cannot be determined whether _A.
valens_ is conspecific with the holotype of _A. fragilis_ to the exclusion
of a third taxon.
There decision that a species
is unidentifiable is a subjective one by the researchers, and others may
differ in opinion.
Yes. The same is true of subjective synonyms, which are likewise often in
the eye of the beholder. For example, although almost everyone regards
_Brontosaurus_ as a subjective synonym of _Apatosaurus_, there is no metric
for determining whether one genus should be sunk into another. Objective
synonyms are different, and occur when two genera or species have the same
As such, a so-called "nomen dubium" still remains available for
of priority, homonymy, etc.
Yes. And it is unfortunate that some cool generic names were 'blown' on
Also, a rejected name can never be resurrected except by a
second decision by the ICZN (I don't know of any case where this has
I know of one such case: the shark genus _Carcharias_ was reinstated by the
ICZN in 1987, reversing an earlier decision to suppress the genus in favor
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