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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 
happen.... ;-)

> 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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