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Re: New name for Megalosaurus hesperis
Chris Taylor wrote:
> Benson, R. B. J. 2008. A redescription of
> _'Megalosaurus' hesperis_ (Dinosauria, Theropoda)
> from the Inferior Oolite (Bajocian, Middle Jurassic) of
> Dorset, United Kingdom. _Zootaxa_ 1931: 57-67.
The name _Duriavenator_ apparently means "Dorset hunter", Duria being an old
name for Dorset. (I don't know who actually first used the place-name 'Duria',
though I assume it's Romano-British in origin.)
_Duriavenator_ is assigned to the Megalosauridae, which is in turn assigned to
the Spinosauroidea. But under ICZN rules, Megalosauroidea has priority over
Spinosauroidea for the Megalosauridae-Spinosauridae clade. This is because
Spinosauroidea is a coordinate family-group taxon, and Megalosauridae was named
before Spinosauridae. This entire issue could be bypassed if this clade
(Spinosauroidea/Megalosauroidea) was shorn of its '-oidea' suffix, and renamed
Megalosauria or Spinosauria - or any other name that is not coordinate with a
family name (and therefore exempting it from the purview of the ICZN). Paul's
Intertheropoda would work too.
On another nomenclatural note... Benson (thankfully) make no reference to a
certain previous (and very unhelpful) attempt at putting _M. hesperis_ in a new
genus around ten years ago. In a self-published "work" a fellow named Stephan
Pickering "named" this taxon "Walkersaurus". But for good reasons (including
the fact that the "publication" didn't meet ICZN criteria), Pickering's effort
has been largely ignored, and "Walkersaurus" remains an invalid genus (= a
nomen nudum, like all of Pickering's genera and species). Thus, "Walkersaurus"
does NOT have priority over _Duriavenator_. With Benson's valid publication of
_Duriavenator_, the name "Walkersaurus" will hopefully never again rear its
ugly head as an 'unofficial' name for _M. hesperis_.
> No, I don't have a copy, before anyone asks.
I do, in case anyone does.