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RE: Pterosaur Species List updates



Mike Hanson wrote:

> Then why was Manospondylus ever a problem to begin with? It was a 
> poorly preserved vertebra that could just as well have been from some 
> tyrannosaurid other then Tyrannosaurus. There didn't need to be an ICZN 
> ruling on its use because nothing could be referred to it and it could 
> not be referred to anything!


It's my understanding that there didn't need to be a specific ICZN ruling on 
_Manospondylus_ vs. _Tyrannosaurus_ because of a rule that came in 9 years ago 
regarding "prevailing usage" (4th edition).  Although the _Manospondylus_ is 
based on two incomplete vertebrae that are not diagnostic at the genus level, 
tyrannosaurid material from the _Manospondylus_ type locality has been 
uncovered that appears to be diagnostic.  This new material may belong to the 
same individual as the _Manospondylus_ type.

However, nobody (AFAIK) has challenged the validity of _Tyrannosaurus_ (i.e., 
by claiming _Manospondylus_ has priority); and even if they did, I'm certain 
the ICZN would act to preserve _Tyrannosaurus_.  Because _Manospondylus_ has 
not been used as a presumed valid name for well over 50 years, _Manospondylus_ 
would probably be declared a nomen oblitum. 


Michael Mortimer wrote:

> The boundary between a journal and a magazine is pretty
> vague.  Especially one like Prehistoric Times, where
> professional paleontologists write many articles.  Sure
> it's not very technical, but it's moreso than "The Field
> Guide to Dinosaurs", and no one ever complains about
> Coloradisaurus.  In fact, Avgodectes has a better case
> for being valid, since Peters actually intended to name it
> (while Lambert tought Bonaparte had already published
> Coloradisaurus) and Peters has written in the technical
> literature, unlike Lambert.


I would take an entirely different view.  Lambert's _Coloradisaurus_ was an 
innocent mistake: he thought the name had already been published.  Also, 
_Coloradisaurus_ was a replacement for the preoccupied _Coloradia_, so no new 
description/diagnosis was needed.  Thus
 new name in a popular magazine in order to *avoid* publishing a name in a 
scientific journal.  Some people self-publish new names for the same reason: to 
evade scrutiny and review during the publication process.  In other words, this 
can be viewed (rightly, in most cases) as a backdoor way of publishing new 
names, by exploiting the ambiguity of the ICZN rules (Chapter 3, of the Code).  

IMHO, it would be preferable for Recommendations 8A-8E to be mandatory, rather 
than 'just' being recommendations.  That would eliminate many of the problems 
associated with names like "Avgodectes", "Walkersaurus" and 
"Gigantspinosaurus", which would all be quickly dismissed as nomina nuda.





Cheers

Tim