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Re: New papers in Geobios (and nomenclatoral gripe)

David Marjanovic (david.marjanovic@gmx.at) wrote:

<Same with *Coelophysis*: there was a risk that the Ghost Ranch specimens could
end up not belonging to *Coelophysis*.>

  Risk? What risk? The authors designated the curled up pair of *Coelophysis*
on the Berkeley mural (UCMP) as holotype and paratype of a new genus and
species *Rioarribasaurus colberti*, and referred all of the various Ghost Ranch
specimens, from which those two types pertained, to that species. This was then
overturned by the ICZN by numerous appeals (which I have in paper at least,
back in Idaho) for the issue that the literature and public viewed the Ghost
Ranch theropods AS *Coelophysis*. *Rioarribasaurus* and *R. colberti* were
supressed, *Coelophysis* and *Coelurus bauri* were upheld and were given senior
priority by fiat. The UCMP type was designated a neotype.

  Sullivan and crew then described a new genus from the type area of Whitaker
of *C. bauri's* lectotype, and designated this taxon *Eucoelophysis baldwini*
and then further intimated that the lectotype of *C. bauri* could belong to
*Eucoelophysis*! This was after Padian had already described a nearly complete
postcrania in 1989 from Whitaker which could have served as a neotype, had
Sullivan et al considered it. Padian has raised the option, but it was clear
that the UCMP specimens were prefered.

  Such is life.

  *I. anglicus* is likely *Iguanodon* and no one has ever questioned this. The
problem was the comparability and diagnostic utility. Yes, the type COULD
belong to a SIMILAR iguanodontid, but this was a probability far from the minds
of those who wished to retain *Iguanodon* for the classic Belgian and English
species, in both specimen repository, literature, public perception, and the
minds of virtually all researchers. It is preferrable, indeed, that we have
adequate referrable specimens to be types rather than crap that _could_ be many
different things or that so restrict referral that it makes comparability
nearly impossible. Such is the reason neotypes and new type species may be
designated, and this was the process in which both *Coelophysis* was retained
and *Iguanodon* gained a new type species. Yes -- the cases are distinct, but
their purposes are very similar.

  I can personally see the case that *M. suessi* can be claimed valid enough to
represent a container and then provide any species follow the name *Mochlodon*
be comparable to that taxon, since the type is contained in a group of fossils.
If Sachs and Hornug has, as Sven said, use the cf. modifier, we may not be
having this discussion. And the mandible IS comparable, as it is fairly
complete, though juvenile; but aside from similarities to *Zalmoxes robustus*,
Sachs and Hornug were being circumspect in their comparison and did not readily
refer *suessi* to *Zalmoxes*; they simply recognized it as being unable to
provide diagnostic reference to other species and lumped it. They could just
make it Rhabdodontidae incertae sedis, as well, but they also seemed to have
wanted to disabuse folks of using the name as a potential valid monicker by
making comparative reference, such as it was, to a particular genus. So in
this, I would side with them, not with Chris Taylor et al., though their
arguments are compelling.


Jaime A. Headden

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

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