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RE: Suchosaurus, Baryonyx and Martinavis
Denver Fowler wrote:
> Some of this is being discussed on my SVP poster (rather unfortunate that
> buffetaut's paper comes out right before my
> presentation), but I think Buffetaut is looking for an excuse to keep
> Baryonyx, rather than really coming up with a good
> defensible reason not to dump the genus for Suchosaurus:
Yes, that was my impression too. It's a nice way to avoid controversy, since
sinking _Baryonyx_ into _Suchosaurus_ would be a BIG deal. _Suchosaurus_ was
sacrificed on the altar of nomenclatural stability. On that point...
> The good examples of troodon and carcharodontosaurus (mentioned by tim) are
> identical cases.
In both cases (_Troodon_ and _Carcharodontosaurus_) the names might benefit
from nominating a neotype, as was done for _Iguanodon_. Otherwise, I can see
somewhere down the track both genera (_Troodon_ and _Carcharodontosaurus_)
being declared nomina dubia on account of them been founded upon isolated
teeth. Of course, the alternative is to throw both genera (_Troodon_ and
_Carcharodontosaurus_) to the wolves, as has been done for so many other
taxa (_Trachodon_, _Deinodon_, and now _Suchosaurus_). As Denver is alluding
to, this business of determining seniority is so very arbitrary and subjective.
_Troodon_ trumps _Stenonychosaurus_, but _Baryonyx_ trumps _Suchosaurus_, even
though they're completely analogous situations.
The added complication is that both _Troodon_, _Carcharodontosaurus_ and
_Baryonyx_ are all nominative genera for established higher-level taxa
Carcharodontosauridae, Baryonychinae). Then again, Ceratopsidae continues to
be used, even though _Ceratops_ is almost always regarded as a nomen dubium.
More airy-fairy, hand-wavey justifications, rather than hard-and-fast objective
> Baryonyx is a junior synonym of Suchosaurus. Nevertheless, Baryonyx is a
> nicer name than Suchosaurus, although
> Suchosaurus is more descriptive... I suppose you could argue that Bary is in
> more general usage... but then collectors
> on the Isle of Wight, UK, were using the term Suchosaurus for baryonychid
> teeth, long before Baryonyx itself was even
> named. Furthermore, at the very least, if Suchosaurus can indeed be
> attributed to Baryonychidae/Baryonychinae-
> Spinosauridae (which it can).. then the nomenclature should recognise it as
> the senior taxon, thus
> Spinosauridae=Suchosauridae, Baryonychinae=Suchosaurinae etc. which I think
> is much better.
The added benefit is that Spinosauridae is founded upon _Spinosaurus_, and it
has been suggested that _Spinosaurus aegyptiacus_ is a composite taxon
(spinosauroid jaws+teeth, carnosaurian dorsal vertebrae). By sinking
Spinosauridae (as well as Baryonychidae) into Suchosauridae, we dodge another
nomenclatural timebomb rooted in the _Spinosaurus_ hypodigm. (BTW, I'm not
arguing that _Spinosaurus_ is a chimera, only that the suggestion that it is
another level of uncertainty to the the phylogenetic nomenclature of basal
Interestingly, it's been suggested that _Suchomimus tenerensis_ be sunk into
_Baryonyx_. If (as Denver suggests) _Baryonyx_ is sunk into _Suchosaurus_,
_Suchomimus tenerensis_ would become _Suchosaurus tenerensis_. Hey. it could
> I still prefer the name Baryonyx.
Alas, aesthetic preferences are not covered by the ICZN. There's a lot of
god-awful dinosaur names I'd like to see the back of...
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