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RE: Correction/update #3 - Mesozoic dinosaur species



>>As Ignacio Ruiz mentioned, the holotype dorsal for _Nopcsaspondylus_
>was 
>>described by Nopcsa (1902), but is now lost.  Does that mean that
>this 
>>sauropod has only a figure as its holotype?  I know this is not
>unique, 
>>given that the holotypes of other dinosaur genera are now lost
>(e.g., 
>>_Spinosaurus aegyptiacus_, _Amphicoelias fragillimus_).  But in the
>case of 
>>_Nopcsaspondylus_, the holotype specimen was named *after* it was
>lost.  Are 
>>there other cases of this among non-avian dinosaurs?

ICZN 73.1.4. Designation of an illustration of a single specimen as a
holotype is to be treated as designation of the specimen illustrated;
the fact that the specimen no longer exists or cannot be traced does
not of itself invalidate the designation.

I don't know of any dinosaurian examples of this, but the description
in _Science_ a couple of years ago of _Lophocebus kipunji_ Ehardt et
al. in Jones et al. 2005 was a bit of a test case (the holotype
specimen was photographed but not collected due to the small
population size of the species). There was a letter exchange on the
subject in Science of 30 September 2005 - _What Constitutes a Proper
Description?_
(http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5744/2163c)*.

*On the other hand, _Science_ and _Nature_ both have an absolutely
appalling track record when it comes to publishing names in a matter
that doesn't fulfil all the strict requirements of the ICZN. In most
cases, intent is obvious enough that there would be no benefit from
being anal about such things (let's just let _Vegavis_ slide, shall
we?), but it still doesn't look the best.

    Cheers,

        Christopher Taylor