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Re: Pterosaur origins

On 5/17/07, gerarus@westnet.com.au <gerarus@westnet.com.au> wrote:

Under the ICZN rules, Coeluroidea would have priority over Tyrannosauroidea if one chose to recognise a superfamily uniting _Tyrannosaurus_ and _Coelurus_, yes. Of course, no-one is under any obligation to do so - you could just as easily recognise two superfamilies Coeluroidea and Tyrannosauroidea that happen to be sister taxa (though in this case, Coeluroidea would currently be redundant with Coeluridae). Personally, I'd probably be cautious of sinking Tyrannosauroidea into Coeluroidea unless the support for uniting them was very strong.

An excellent case of how, contrary to the perception of some, phylogenetic nomenclature is more stable than traditional taxonomy. Under phylogenetic nomenclature, _Tyrannosauroidea_ is defined (http://taxonsearch.org/dev/taxon_edit.php?Action=View&tax_id=350), while Coeluroidea has never been defined. Under ICZN rules, a basal taxon like _Coelurus_ shifting in and out of the hypothesized clade changes the taxon's name--under PN, there is no change.

(Incidentally, these name changes due to coordinated ranks were not an
original feature of Linnaean taxonomy.)
Mike Keesey