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Brontosauria? Vote for Apatosauria!

--- "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Jay (sappororaptor@yahoo.com) wrote:
> <Why not just abandon Brontosauria? It's original announcement was because of 
> a
> purported relationship between therizinosaurs and sauropodomorphs. Clearly, no
> one is realistically advocating that anymore. Also, it's based on 
> Brontosaurus,
> itself invalid by synonymy. We already have the names Plateosauridae,
> Plateosauria, Prosauropoda, Anchisauria - The topologies of all of which could
> change following a revision in cladistics. Eg. Anchisauria originally proposed
> in 2004 for the Anchisaurus + Melanorosaurus clade assumed a close 
> relationship
> between these taxa; now 1 year latter, Anchisauria could include Anchisaurus
> and all other sauropodomorphs excluding Saturnalia, Thecodontosaurus,
> Plateosauridae, & Massospondylus. See 
> http://dml.cmnh.org/2005Aug/msg00240.html
> for this.>
>   Why would we want a name like "Brontosauria" for this clade? Possibly 
> because
> it's inherently aesthetic and elegant. The name derives from the second, if 
> not
> the first, most recognizable fossil name in history (O. C. Marsh's greatest
> legacy, perhaps). Thus it's appeal is very strong. 

Yeah, there's strong appeal, i can't argue with that - but mainly on the 
etymologies - the thunder
lizards?, i think?. 
But we are talking about the name Brontosauria as opposed to Brontosaurus. It's 
not exactly the
same as Ceratopsidae or Hadrosauridae, where well known groups were established 
on taxa (Ceratops
& Hadrosaurus) that aren't phylogenetically useful and diagnosable anymore 
(maybe ok in
Hadrosaurus? - but it's not a convincingly valid taxon  - there's a paper in 
press by
Prieto-Marquez & friends in press). 
When Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae were named, Ceratops & Hadrosaurus were 
valid taxa, so the
names stick, for historical reasons and because it's well within IZCN 
However, unlike Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae, Brontosauria was only prososed 
recently, AND i add, well after it's syonymny with Apatosaurus was accepted 
throughout literatue.
Why couldn't the author of Brontosauria go with Apatosauria? Where's the 
respect for Apatosaurus? 
Marsh did propose Brontosauridae but not Brontosauria if i'm correct.

> Original useage does not
> preclude name useage, and exaptation of nomenclature has been done before,
> where a name's "old" or "original" meaning (example, Coelurosauria used to
> include all the SMALL, gracile theropods, including coelophysids, as well as
> traditional coelurosaurs we know and love, but NOT the big animals such as
> tyrannosaurids) is reused for the sake of preventing new names from entering
> the literature 

See above, I don't believe that Brontosauria is an old name.
It especially need not warrant preservation. 

> when an old one's meaning need be only slightly modified. When
> Carnosauria was redefined to be nearly identical to Allosauridae plus a few
> taxa, it retained its usefulness following Novas and Holtz analyses which
> served to destroy the traditional content.
>   Now, Sauropoda's original content has changed and traditionally excluded 
> such
> animals as *Massospondylus* and *Anchisaurus* which, according to Yates'
> analyses, are closer to "traditional" sauropods than to *Plateosaurus*, a stem
> based relationship that has been defined as the characteristic for Sauropoda.
> Are they "sauropods" in the aesthetic, "known" sense? No, probably not.

True, Yates's Postilla paper title did imply that Sauropoda included 
Anchisaurus, but from his
last post (See http://dml.cmnh.org/2005Aug/msg00240.html) he raised the point 
of altering the
definition of Sauropoda so that it would be probably be node based to mean 
something like
Vulcanodon and all higher sauropodomorphs exclusive of Melanorosaurus, 
Anchisaurus Plateosaurus
etc. This would preserve the name Sauropoda to what most people commonly 
associate with. However
who use's Brontosauria in the literature?

>   Cheers,
> Jaime A. Headden
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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