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Re: Laelaps and Brontosauria (was Re: Resending)

Jaime Headden wrote:

Thus it's appeal is very strong. 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

Another example is Ceratosauria. When Marsh erected this new group it had only a single member: _Ceratosaurus_. Marsh subsequently expanded the Ceratosauria to include _Ornithomimus_ as well! For the next 100 years, the name disappeared from usage - until it was revived as the name for a new clade that included _Ceratosaurus_, _Dilophosaurus_ and coelophysids (=podokesaurids). The "old" and "new" Ceratosauria have almost nothing in common - except that they both include _Ceratosaurus_.

Jay <sappororaptor@yahoo.com> wrote:

However, unlike Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae, Brontosauria was only prososed relatively
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?

You'd have to ask George Olshevsky why he coined the name Brontosauria. I would add that "brontosaur" was a colloquial term for sauropod dinosaurs long before the name "Brontosauria" was proposed. As Jaime said, the name does have some intuitive appeal for historical reasons.

However who use's Brontosauria in the literature?

Absolutely nobody. Except for the guy who proposed the name Brontosauria, and he wasn't constructing a phylogeny. The name first appeared in a self-published article that included a Linnean classification of dinosaurs. There were other quirks beside the Brontosauria entry (e.g., _Longisquama_ was regarded as a basal theropod).

Why not just abandon Brontosauria? It's original announcement was because of a purported
relationship between therizinosaurs and sauropodomorphs.

For all intents and purposes, the name Brontosauria has been abandoned, because the name hasn't actually been used in any sauropod phylogeny. I don't see it on the horizon either.

Also, it's based on Brontosaurus, itself invalid by synonymy.

The name _Brontosaurus_ is nomenclaturally valid. The genus is invalid, as long as it's considered a junior synonym of _Apatosaurus_. However, the validity of _Brontosaurus_ in no way impacts on the availability of the name Brontosauria.

We already have the names Plateosauridae, Plateosauria, Prosauropoda, Anchisauria

Interestingly, the type specimen of _Plateosaurus_ appears to be non-diagnostic. If this is the case, then _P. engelhardti_ would require a new type (a neotype) to ensure that the genus _Plateosaurus_ is valid.