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Re: New papers in Geobios (and nomenclatoral gripe)

Jaime A. Headden wrote-

The authors don't seem to actually make this particular argument, for the
nature of nomenclature competition. Weishampel is notable for his arguments of
nomina dubia, from his editorialship on both _The Dinosauria_ editions and
elsewhere, and tends to find that taxa with types that lack diagnostic
characters are not viable in nomenclature. To him, these taxa are worthless.
The authors DO state that the species, *suessi*, is not diagnostic, and thus so
is its monotypic genus, and that the species falls into the nearest diagnostic
receptacle available for it, *Zalmoxes*, whose type IS diagnostic. They cannot
support the validity of *M. suessi* for referral, so simply place the entire
Muthmannsdorf rhabdodont material into *Z.* as *Z.* sp. The authors also would
appear to argue that a species and a genus are NOT differentially diagnostic,
i.e., that there isn't a way to diagnose a genus and a species separately
without a second species to use the mutually shared species characters as
generic characters. This makes monotypic taxa problematic when the type is
poorly diagnostic. Thus, Sachs and Hornug sink *Mochlodon suessi* in *Zalmoxes*
as *Z.* sp.

I agree with Chris. This is not possible to do. You can't just sink a named species into an unspecified unnamed "sp.", regardless of what Weishampel thinks. It's like when authors try to sink whole genera into "Theropoda indet." and just pretend the genus and species names don't exist. If Mochlodon suessi's holotype is referrable to Zalmoxes but not specifically diagnostic, there should be three species of Mochlodon - M. robustus, M. shqiperorum and M. suessi. The latter could be the holotype yet still be specifically indeterminate.

Mickey Mortimer