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Abberatiodontus (was Re: Horner and Goodwin on Triceratops)



David Marjanovic wrote:

I just discovered Art. 29.4.2 which says we are not stuck with any of these examples, so as soon as someone publishes Aberratiodontidae, Gansuidae and Yandangornithidae, we can use those

That's a relief.

We are, however, almost certainly stuck with *Aberratiodontus*, which should be *Aberratidens* or something... or perhaps *Aberratodus* if we insist on having the tooth in Greek...

...the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth. I can live with _Aberratiodontus_, given that there are plenty of zoological names that end in -dontus, e.g., _Heterodontus_ (shark), _Xiphodontus_ (beetle), and so on. Also, -dontus is a common suffix for conodont genera.


For _Aberratiodontus_, the sloppy nomenclature is part of a larger problem of a poorly written original description. After reading the description by Gong &c, I am not sure what _Aberratiodontus_ actually is, beside being (a) a bird, and (b) a diapsid. The authors call it an enantiornithean, but I wonder if it might lie closer to the euornithean/ornithuromorph branch of the Aves. _Aberratiodontus_ strikes me as poorly adapted for arboreality, which is unusual for an enantiornithean (although that alone is no reason to exclude it from the Enantiornithes).

Cheers

Tim