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Diceratus & Microceratus, new genus names for preoccupied ceratopsians



A short note in the latest issue of Journal of Paleontology:

"THE CERATOPSIAN dinosaur genera Diceratops Lull, 1905 and Microceratops 
Bohlin, 1953 are
preoccupied by the Hymenoptera insects, Diceratops Foerster, 1868 and 
Microceratops Seyrig, 1952,
respectively. Therefore, the name of the ceratopsian dinosaur Diceratops Lull, 
1905 from the Late
Cretaceous of United States is a junior homonym of the hymenoptera Diceratops 
Foerster, 1868.
Diceratus n. gen. (Greek di  ??two,?? Greek ceratos ??horned??) is proposed 
as the replacement
name of Diceratops Lull, 1905. Some workers have considered Diceratops 
synonymous with Triceratops
(e.g., Dodson and Currie, 1990) but it was reinstated by Forster (1996) after 
analysis of the
characteristics of all existing ceratopsid skulls, and recent reviews (e.g., 
Dodson et al., 2004)
have considered Diceratops a valid genus. Due to preoccupation, the name of the 
ceratopsian
dinosaur Microceratops Bohlin, 1953 from the Cretaceous of the Gobi is a junior 
homonym of the
insect Microceratops Seyrig, 1952. Microceratus n. gen. (Greek micro  
??small,?? Greek ceratos
??horned??) is proposed as the replacing name of Microceratops Bohlin, 1953. 
Sereno (2000:489)
has declared Microceratops a nomen dubium since the holotype material lacks any 
diagnostic
features, a
convention followed by You and Dodson (2004:480). However, the name is still 
used by Le Loeuff et
al. (2002), Lucas (2006), Alifanov (2003) and Xu et al. (2002), and such 
practice justifies the
renaming of the genus. In order to preserve some stability, the names chosen 
here deliberately
preserve the same prefixes.

Mateus, O., 2008. Two Ornithischian Dinosaurs Renamed: Microceratops Bohlin 
1953 and Diceratops
Lull 1905. Journal of Paleontology, 82(2): 423



      
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