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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, this represents an entirely different
situation from erecting a 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.