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RE: When carnivores kill other carnivores...

> >The first paragraph Tim has transcribed indicates that
> >Huene explicitly established the name _Altispinax_ in 1923 for
> >_Megalosaurus dunkeri_ (which is then the type species by monotypy).

> Except that here Huene clearly goofed.  He attached the name
_Altispinax_ to 
> the vertebrae under the assumption that Lydekker had referred the
> vertebrae to _Megalosaurus dunkeri_.  Lydekker had done no such thing.

> Huene's statement is therefore nonsensical:

    Interesting - I didn't realise that it wasn't Lydekker who referred
the vertebrae. I refer back to my comment on the unreliability of
secondary sources ;-)... However, I'm not sure it makes a difference.
While Lydekker may not have included the vertebrae in _M. dunkeri_, it's
pretty clear that Huene did. Article 17 of the Code states that "The
availability of a name is not affected even if it is found that the
original description or name-bearing type specimen(s) relates to more
than one taxon, or to parts of animals belonging to more than one
taxon". Also, a name remains available even if the characters it was
originally based on turn out to be mistaken or not generically
    Hang on... Something I've just noticed about the 'conditional
proposal' rule (Article 15.1): "A new name or nomenclatural act proposed
conditionally and published AFTER 1960 is not thereby made available"
(capitals mine). As _Altispinax_ dates from before 1960 (and was used as
valid prior to 1960 - Article 11.6.1, which may or may not be relevant),
the whole conditional proposal possibility is irrelevant to this
    According to George Olshevsky, Kuhn (1939) apparently selected _M.
dunkeri_ as lectotype of _Altispinax
(http://dml.cmnh.org/1997Feb/msg00333.html). Does anyone have this
reference onhand? For that matter, could someone forward me a PDF of the
Rauhut article so I can actually read it rather than risk embaressment
by relying on other people's reports? (Not that I don't trust you all
implicitly, of course)

> I would infer from the above statement that Huene (1923) did not
> designate a type specimen, because the species _Megalosaurus dunkeri_
> not known from dorsal vertebrae.  This opens the door to Article 70.3.

    Huene did designate a type _species_ (or Kuhn did later), and the
type specimen of that species automatically becomes type of the genus
(Article 61.2) - even if it doesn't show the characters diagnostic of
the genus. An undiagnostic type can only be replaced by action of the
ICZN (Article 75.5). Article 70.3 is still relevant, however, as Huene
did indeed misidentify _M. dunkeri_.

> It is clear that Huene is (belatedly) pinning down the distinctive
> as the _Altispinax_ type specimen.  Given that his 1923 paper attaches
> name to a non-existent specimen (no vertebrae were referred to _M.
> by Lydekker), and his 1926 paper introduces the name _Altispinax_ as a

> prospective name only (the "if" factor, as Chris puts it), one could
make a 
> case that it is not until his 1932 paper that Huene is designating a
> specimen for _Altispinax_: the dorsals.

    As I said, this is largely irrelevant. Huene's naming of _M.
dunkeri_ as type species automatically designates a type specimen
(Article 61.2), and a type cannot normally be changed once fixed
(Article 61.1.3). However, these passages do provide supporting evidence
if Article 70.3 is to be invoked.

    In conclusion - it would appear that _Altispinax_ was validly
proposed in 1923 with type species _Megalosaurus dunkeri_ Lydekker,
albeit with a mistaken idea of what constituted the hypodigm of _M.
dunkeri_. The type specimen of _Altispinax_ is therefore automatically
the original tooth (and not the vertebrae), unless someone wishes to
invoke Article 70.3 in print and transfer type status to
_Acrocanthosaurus altispinax_ (and this has not yet happened). Whether
Kuhn's (1939) designation of _M. dunkeri_ as lectotype of _Altispinax_
prevents this option, I couldn't say without seeing the paper - if Kuhn
was unaware of Huene's mistake (or at least didn't explicitly refer to
it), then he would have effectively designated _M. dunkeri_ sensu Huene,
and Article 70.3 still remains a possibility. As I said earlier, Article
70.3 would only become inapplicable if someone explicitly referred to
Huene's mistake in print then reaffirmed _Megalosaurus dunkeri_ Lydekker
as type species (effectively following Article 70.3.1).


        Christopher Taylor

PS. In case it is held to be relevant (if Huene's original proposal of
_Altispinax_ is held to be conditional, it might be interpreted as if he
proposed _Altispinax_ while in the synonymy of _Megalosaurus_), Article
11.6.1 reads: 

"11.6.1. However, if such a name published as a junior synonym had been
treated before 1961 as an available name and either adopted as the name
of a taxon or treated as a senior homonym, it is made available thereby
but dates from its first publication as a synonym (for type species if a
genus-group name see Article 67.12; for name-bearing type if a
species-group name see Article 72.4.3; for authorship see Article 50.7).

Examples. Meigen (1818), in discussion under Ceratopogon flavipes Meigen
(Diptera), stated that he had received the material from Megerle under
the manuscript name Palpomyia geniculata. Palpomyia, there published as
a synonym of Ceratopogon, is an available name because before 1961 it
was used as a valid name; it is attributed to Meigen, 1818. The specific
name geniculata, never having been adopted, is not available from Meigen

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