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Re: -i? -orum? ACK!

Ivan Kwan (dino_rampage@hotmail.com) wrote:

<When does the species epithet end with -i, and when does it end with -orum?>

  A species name ends in -i when it is named after a male person, or perhaps if
you wish to honor a company (which are assumed to be of masculine gender for
purposes of taxonomy). A name may also end in -ii, and there's no real problem
with this, since it's usually done through a process of latinization of the
honored's name before adding the final -i, so that Linné (properly, Linnaeus)
would be stemmed as linnaei-, then add -i for *linnaeii*. Some also tend to
change the final vowel of a name into an -i- then add -i, as in *conybearii*.

  A species name ends in -ae when it is named after a female person.

  A species name ends in -orum if it is named for a group of people of whom at
least ONE person is male.

  A species name end in -arum if it is named for a group of people of whom ALL
are female.

  A species can also end in -ianus as genitive forms of their names, or of
companies, or of regions. Names like *copeanus*, *fraasianus*, or *zhaoianus*. 

<_Bambiraptor feinbergi_? Or _Bambiraptor feinbergorum_
 _Utahraptor ostrommaysi_? Or _Utahraptor ostrommaysorum_ (I think the plural 
should be correct for this one, although I still keep seeing the singular 
spelling pop up)
 _Avaceratops lammersi_? Or _Avaceratops lammersorum_ (Should I shut up about
this one as well, given that George Olshevsky and Peter Dodson haven't quite 
resolved this yet?)
 _Sauropelta edwardsi_? Or _Sauropelta edwardsorum_?
 _Gargoyleosaurus parkpini_? Or _Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum_?
 _Tenontosaurus tilletti_? Or _Tenontosaurus tillettorum_?>

  Prior to 2000, the ICZN mandated change of all species epithets named for
people to agree in number and gender. So if it was a group the name was derived
from, an automatic change was requested. However, after 2000, this changed, and
no names, even if they occured before 2000, were mandated and in fact they were
stated to be preferred as the print name even if they were later to be
"emmended." *Bambiraptor feinbergi*, named for the husband and wife Feinbergs,
was named in 2000, and any correction to the name is in violation of the ICZN
rules. Other names ... well ... Dodson refuses to use Olshevsky's emmendation
for *Avaceratops,* and Penkalski has done the same, such as in

  Penkalski, P. and P. Dodson. 1999. The morphology and systematics of
    *Avaceratops*, a primitive horned dinosaur from the Judith River Formation
    (Late Campanian) of Montana, with the description of a second skull.
    _Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology_ 19(4):692-711.

  Some workers do not regard Olshevsky's emmendations as neccessary, and others
do. Some publications require adherence to ICZN rules and guidelines to publish
taxonomy in them, and some are stricter than others in enforcing this. Other
than that, all I would say is follow what you think is the "most scientific"
method. I personally could care less WHAT we name it, just that it has a unique
name. Being anal about how one names something can get TOO restrictive on the
so-called taxonomic freedom we sometimes think we have. Otherwise, the rules
are there to guide taxonomic work and prevent big messes, but no one says you
HAVE to use the ICZN.


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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