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Re: When carnivores kill other carnivores...



Mike Keesey wrote:

I'm trying to figure out what ICZN rules
(http://www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp) say and they're giving me a
headache.

Me too - including the headache bit.

Here's what Rauhut says:

"Huene (1923: p. 453) referred to Lydekker's work, stating that "the species described as _M. dunkeri_ by Lydekker (Dames) [sic], from the English (and German) Early Wealden, is distinguished from _Megalosaurus_ by its enormously high neural spines in the dorsal region. I therefore propose to establish a new genus, _Altispinax_, for it. [snip]

"However, Huene (1926a: pp. 482-483) stated: "There is another specimen from the Wealden of Battle...consisting of three articulated middle dorsal vertebrae, with extremely high neural spines. ...if it were certain that such dorsal vertebrae belong to _Megalosaurus dunkeri_, it would be necessary to put it into a distinct genus, for which the name _Altispinax_, gen. nov., might be reserved.", and in 1932 (p. 235): "Three articulated dorsal vertebrae with very elongated neural spines, figured by Owen (202, Pl. 19), also seem to belong here; ...In 1926 ..., I based the genus _Altispinax_ on these specimens." (my translation). From this it is clear firstly that the generic name _Altispinax_ was proposed for the three vertebrae, and secondly does not refer to the nomen dubium _Megalosaurus dunkeri_. Since Huene (1926) did not propose a new specific name, the first available species name given exclusively to the vertebrae is Paul's (1988a) _Acrocanthosaurus altispinax_, the species thus becomes _Altispinax altispinax_ (PAUL, 1988a). _Becklespinax Olshevsky, 1991, is thus an objective junior synonym of _Altispinax_ Huene, 1923.

The gist of this nomenclatural saga would appear to be that when Huene first coined the name "Altispinax_ in 1923 it may not have qualified as a valid name under ICZN rules (this fits with what Mickey said about the "conditional" nature of the name). However, Huene was more explicit in his later publications, so by 1926 it is clear that he is basing _Altispinax_ on the tall-spined vertebrae. So although Huene was wishy-washy in the beginning about what he meant to attach the name "Altispinax" to, he later cleared this up.

OK, time for an aspirin.

Cheers

Tim