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RE: Suchosaurus, Baryonyx and Martinavis

Mike Keesey wrote:

> Well, _Suchosaurus_ is a pretty good name in terms of etymology, at least.

I had _Gigantspinosaurus_ in mind when I wrote that comment.  Wouldn't mind 
putting the kay-bosh on that one.  :-)  No, I like _Suchosaurus_, but 
_Baryonyx_ is much cooler.

> I don't see any problem with continuing to use _Baryonyx_,
> _Troodontidae_, and _Stenonychosaurus_, myself. 

I regard any clade based on a nomen dubium (or potential nomen dubium) to be 
problematic (or ptentially problematic).  This would be the case for 
Troodontidae if _Troodon_ becomes a nomen dubium.  In that event, 
Saurornithoididae is available - although it's currently without a definition.

> has a different situation, though, as there is no newer name with
> better type material -- it does seem like a good candidate for a
> neotype.


> Incidentally, this raises an interesting code-related issue. It seems
> that, whatever the status of _Suchosaurus_, Suchosauridae is still the
> valid name for the corresponding family (which presumably would
> include _Baryonyx_ and _Spinosaurus_) under the ICZN. 

Unless _Suchosaurus_ is a nomen dubium.  Otherwise, you're dead-on.  After all, 
the Spinosauridae+Torvosauridae clade was originally named Torvosauroidea, but 
was renamed Spinosauroidea because Spinosauridae was named before 
Torvosauridae.  This was 'required' by ICZN rules.

> _Spinosauridae_ has been given a phylogenetic definition. Of course,
> the PhyloCode is not in effect yet, but suppose it were in effect and
> _Spinosauridae_ were registered (e.g., with the definition
> "Clade(_Baryonyx_ + _Spinosaurus_)") as a clade name. We'd have a
> situation where Family Spinosauridae would be invalid under the ICZN,
> but Clade _Spinosauridae_ would be valid under the PhyloCode.

At some stage the ICZN and PhyloCode will have to duke it out.  Pistols at ten 
paces, I say.

Frankly, I think the best policy would be for ICZN to be restricted to genera 
and species, and be shorn of any responsibility for coordinated family-level 
taxa.  In the above example, Torvosauroidea was trumped by Spinosauroidea 
because of ICZN rules; but Torvosauria would have been fine, because as a 
non-coordinated-family-level taxon it doesn't come up on the ICZN's radar.


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