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Re: Australian dino naming
While on the topic of dino naming, I have a question.
I recently purchased AMAZING FACTS ABOUT AUSTRALIAN DINOSAURS by S.
Hocknull and A. Cook and a number of species have generic names e.g.
Titanosaur, theropod dinosaur, pterosaur, Richmond pliosaur, freshwater
plesiosaur, ankylosaur, allosauroid etc. Is there a reason the naming
process hasn't proceeded further in these cases?
Three possible reasons:
(1). Many fossils are too fragmentary and/or undiagnostic to be formally
named. I think everyone would agree that putting names to the likes of
*Rapator* and *Walgettosuchus* was a bad idea. As far as I know, freshwater
plesiosaur remains are all isolated teeth from the Victorian sites.
(2). It can take decades from initial discovery for a specimen to be
prepared, described and published. The Richmond pliosaur and the more recent
Queensland ?titanosauriforms (Elliot, Mary, and friends) will almost
certainly be formally described in the future. Eric the pliosaur was found
in 1987, but not formally described (as *Umoonasaurus*) until 2006. *Minmi*
was found in 1964, but not described until 1980. Muttaburrasaurus: 1963 to
1981. So there's typically a 15-20 year gap between discovery and formal
description these days. Of course back in the 20s and 30s they would have
been prepared and described within a year or two (*Austrosaurus* was
described the year it was found).
(3). Some of the more unpronouncable names may have been omitted from the
book, if it was targetted at a wider non-professional audience. However I
suspect that the first two points account for most of the non-formal names
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com