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Re: When carnivores kill other carnivores...
Mickey Mortimer wrote:
As I understand it, Rauhut's rationale is incorrect because Huene only
conditionally proposed Altispinax for the vertebrae. He said something to
the effect of "If the dorsals are found not to belong to Megalosaurus, they
should be named Altispinax." Conditional naming is apparently not accepted
by the ICZN.
That would mean that _Altispinax_ was never actually described by Huene in
1923. However, the name _Altispinax_ may not be a nomen nudum, if in a
subsequent publication it was treated as a valid genus and accompanied by a
description (much like what happened with _Jibeinia_ and _Rinchenia_).
However, if it was named _Altispinax dunkeri_ in any of these publications,
then the implication is that _M. dunkeri_ is the type species. Looks like I
may have to brush up on my German and dust off those old papers...
Mike Keesey wrote:
This sounds questionable to me, though. If _Megalosaurus dunkeri_ is just
the tooth, then either _A. dunkeri_ is the type species and the tooth is
the holotype of _Altispinax_, or "Altispinax" has never been given a type
species, and is therefore not an available name.
I thought that genera are available names even if they were described
without a type species, if described before a certain date. (The alleged
theropod _Macrodontophion_ is an example - it never got a species name.)
Thus, _Altispinax_ would be valid even if no type species was designated
back when Huene first coined the name. This is a separate issue from the
"conditional naming" mentioned by Mickey (which I wasn't aware of). The
ICZN tends to be a little more forgiving when it comes to the naming
practices that occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
You see, I told you the _Alltispinax_ issue was complicated. In fact, it's
even more complicated than I first thought. :-)
Etymology does not guide taxonomic rules.
I know. Just look at _Vulcanodon_ and _Amygdalodon_ - two genera named
after teeth that were subsequently removed from these genera.