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RE: The New Paper at the End of the Universe (Was: Hitchhiker's New Papers to the Galaxy)
Boring nomenclatural question below... you have been warned!
Something that I would perhaps disagree with is Rose's interpretation of the
_Astrodon_/_Pleurocoelus_ issue. Carpenter and Tidwell (2005) argued that
_Astrodon_ and _Pleurocoelus_ were synonymous, because there is no evidence
for more than one species of sauropod from the Arundel Formation (or, to be
more accurate, there is insufficient evidence to recognize more than one
species of sauropod from the Arundel Formation).
Although Rose agrees that there is no evidence for more than one Arundel
sauropod species, he argues that _Astrodon_ and _Pleurocoelus_ cannot be
regarded as synonymous because _Astrodon_ (and maybe _Pleurocoelus_ too) are
founded on non-diagnostic type material ("...the status of either _Astrodon_
or _Pleurocoelus_ as valid taxonomic units is not well supported...").
However, I had though that if the material from a locality or horizon can be
referred to a single taxon (e.g., all sauropod material is consistent with a
single sauropod taxon), then it didn't matter if the type material is
diagnostic or not. So, in this case, _Astrodon_ would be valid, and further
gets priority over _Pleurocoelus_. In other words, if you argue (as
Carpenter and Tidwell do) that all the sauropod bones and teeth from Arundel
belong to a single species, then this sauropod would be named _Astrodon_.
The alternative is to erect a new name and attach it to a diagnostic element
- but this would seem pointless when two are already available (_Astrodon_ +
Yeah, told you it would be boring. Any thoughts?
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