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RE: AW: The cladogram from the supp. inf. of the *Anchiornis* paper

Michael Mortimer wrote:

> It doesn't have a sound basis.  

I disagree.  I think _Jeholornis_ should trump _Shenzhouraptor_; but more on 
that later.

> People should be using
> Shenzhouraptor instead of Jeholornis (ditto for Scansoriopteryx instead 
> of Epidendrosaurus).  

In both cases, a certain 'community standard' applies.  As long as one genus 
continues to be given priority over the alternative in the scientific 
literature (_Jeholornis_ over _Shenzhouraptor_; _Epidendrosaurus_ over 
_Scansoriopteryx_; etc), then that genus is the _de facto_ valid name.  

Of course, the ultimate authority on these matters is the ICZN.  But the ICZN 
only acts after the event, when a specific case has been brought to its 
attention, and it's compelled to make a ruling.  Until that point is reached 
(and it might never be reached, because it requires a petition to be launched), 
there is no "should be".  There is only "is".

> Zhou and Zhang (2006) on the other hand made Shenzhouraptor a junior 
> synonym of Jeholornis again without discussion. They stated the ICZN
> gives priority to a weekly journal instead of a monthly journal 
> undoubtedly based on Article 21.3.1. Yet that article only applies 
> in the absence of evidence of "the earliest day on which
> the work is demonstrated to be in existence as a published work." As
> Olshevsky (DML 2002) noted Wang (2002) reported the Shenzhouraptor
> article was published as early as July 23rd two days before 
> Jeholornis was published. Thus Shenzhouraptor has precedence if the 
> genera are synonymous.

Here's the link to George "DinoGeorge" Olshevsky's comments...


However, I don't think that "press releases and Chinese news articles dated 
July 23, 2002" qualify as "proper evidence".  What counts is the date on which 
the article was actually published, not the date on which it was publicized (or 
claimed to be published).  Sure, these could be one and the same (July 23, 
2002); but this is not 100% certain as far as the Geological Bulletin of China 
is concerned.  By contrast, the publication date for the Nature article is 100% 
certain (25 July, 2002).  Thus, I don't think _Shenzhouraptor_ should be given 
the benefit of the doubt.  In a nutshell, _Jeholornis_ should have priority.