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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.