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Re: When carnivores kill other carnivores...

Tim Williams (twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com) wrote:

<It's complicated.  :-)

I follow Rauhut in recognizing that _Altispinax_ is the valid name for the 
tall-spined Wealden theropod from England.  Rauhut's rationale is that Huene 
explicitly proposed the name _Altispinax_ for the distinctive vertebrae, not 
for the indeterminate tooth that was originally named _Megalosaurus dunkeri_. 
I'm sure some people would disagree with this interpretation (e.g., the guy who
proposed the name _Becklespinax_).>

  I do not agree with Rauhut's determination, however. Von Huene's intent was
not followed by others who anchored the lectotype's, and *M. dunkeri* was
discussed and originally described with regards to the tooth, not the
vertebrae, which were refered to in passing as part of the type itself, which
would be difficult to imagine as they were not from the same location. Other
authors separated the two, and if I recall, *M. dunkeri* was rooted on the
tooth alone, and the vertebrae were referred. Tooth-based taxa suck, and this
one is in my files as *Altispinax dunkeri* by original designation, even if the
intent of the author of one of the names was confused (using *Megalosaurus
altispinax*, *Becklespinax altispinax*, etc., as later confused by Olshevsky
and Paul in attempts to clarify through either splitting -- former -- or
lumping -- latter -- the nomenclature by assumption).


Jaime A. Headden

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

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