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A few taxonomic questions (resend)
I am currently reviewing my old dinosaur species list, and have a few points
I would like to shed light on. From a general point of view, am I right to
believe that a nomen dubium cannot be referred to another species?
For example, among the first dinos in any list (in alphabetical order of
course) comes Aetonyx palustris (Broom 1911), which is almost always
a junior synonym of Massospondylus carinatus. However, in TD 2nd Edition,
Aetonyx is listed separately as a nomen dubium. I suppose that if the material
is not diagnostic, it is not possible to assign it to any particular species,
even if it seems extremely probable that it belongs to M. carinatus. Have I
got it right? And by the way, how diagnostic is the actual Aetonyx material?
And then comes the infamous Agathaumas, and with it some questions for
ceratopsian fans here... And I don't seem to be able to determine exactly how
species have actually been named. There's no problem with A. sylvestris
(Cope 1872), the type species. No problem either with A. flabellatus,
Triceratops flabellatus (Marsh 1890), referred to Agathaumas by Scott (1900)
and now included in Triceratops horridus, or with A. prorsus, originally
Triceratops prorsus (Marsh 1890), referred to Agathaumas by Lydekker (1893)
now again T. prorsus.
But...what about A. milo (Cope 1874)? I've seen it listed as a junior
synonym of Thespesius occidentalis on the net, while TD considers it a junior
synonym of Edmontosaurus regalis. But isn't it a nomen dubium? In that case,
shouldn't it keep being A. milo?
Then comes Agathaumas monoclonius Breithaupt 1994, which I can't see listed
anywhere except on the Dino Russ's Lair website. What is it? And last but not
least, the same website lists an Agathaumas sphenocerus Cope 1890, which
appears to be the same as Monoclonius sphenocerus Cope 1889. Did E. D. Cope
reassign the species one year after describing it? Does the combination A.
sphenocerus actually exist?
Thanks in advance,