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Re: Naming rare extant dinosaurs (Re: Not dinosaurs, but damn cool!)

Phil Bigelow (bigelowp@juno.com) wrote:

<Dragging this thread over to flying dinosaurs..... 
If I understand the current rules correctly, in order to name a new species of
extant bird, a type specimen must be accessioned into the museum's collection.>

  If we're talking about the ICZN, they allow for a holotype to be a genetic
sample, rather than a whole body or partial body specimen. This is called a
haplotype. I do know that some birds, especially a recently described Chilean
barbet, had their types taken from living birds who were caught in flynets and
released after measurments, photos and samples were taken. So I think this
being more ethical than the slaughtering of animals for "scientific study" is
more scientific, but it does present osteological comparisons or soft-tissue
studies, so some birds can only be sampled phylogenetically from molecular data
(since most extant birds of late studied seem to be new species or subspecies
rather than genera, this may not be THAT much of a problem).

Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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