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RE: Tsaagan mangas - new dromaeosaurid from Mongolia
What is this problem so many people have with 'goofiness'?
I was quite disappointed at having to sink _Montypythonoides_ Smith & Plane,
1985: actually, I still use it as the 'common name' for the still-valid
species _Morelia riversleighensis_, and more people would have heard of it
than any other fossil snake I could mention. (Whether or not they know
anything else about it).
The second most important feature of a naming system (after uniqueness of
combinations) is that the names are memorable. Picturesque is good,
euphonious is good, cute is good; AFAIK, nobody has a better record of
inventing beautiful generic names than J.E. Gray (lots of extant snakes and
lizards, including _Morelia_).
Goofy works just fine too (it's roughly synonymous to cute, in my virtual
thesaurus), but when used in the context of a protest against a new-fangled
trend the word could certainly also be interpreted as a term of deprecation
or abuse. As Kamahl says, why are people so unkind?
Dr John D. Scanlon
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
19 Marian Street / PO Box 1094
Mount Isa QLD 4825
Ph: 07 4749 1555
Fax: 07 4743 6296
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Williams [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 11:07 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Tsaagan mangas - new dromaeosaurid from Mongolia
> Mike Keesey wrote:
> >Besides, it's descriptive of the animal. Beats "place-name-a-saurus" in
> >book. (Although you could make a good defense of "place-name-a-saurus"
> >names by pointing out that they never turn
> >out to be inaccurate--unless the animal turns out not to be reptilian, of
> Occasionally fossils get named after the wrong geological place. For
> example, _Naashoibitosaurus_ isn't actually from the Naashoibito Member.
> And "place-name-a-saurus" can sometimes become out-of-date.
> is no longer from Japan, courtesy of a transfer of Siberian real estate
> took place after the great dust-up of 1939-45.
> David Krentz wrote:
> > If Jamie said he thought Bambiraptor was a goofy name, I'd
> >wholeheartedly agree with him.
> Arguably the goofiest name of all for a fossil is _Montypythonoides_.
> Thankfully, it was later sunk into another species of snake.
> >Naming a dinosaur after Stan Winston is also a bad idea, just ask anyone
> >who has survived working with him.
> You can sleep soundly tonight, David. Just like every other species named
> by the illustrious Stephan Pickering, "Tyrannosaurus stanwinstonorum" is a
> nomen nudum. For nomenclatural and taxonomic purposes, the name just
> doesn't exist.
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