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Re: [Spam:5.7 SpamScore] Re: Leviathan melvillei -- preoccupied?

James Stearns <jstea003@odu.edu> wrote:

> Sadly, that wouldn't be an option. Junior synonyms retain their status
> just in case the specimen in question actually does wind up being
> reinterpreted as a different genus. If that were not so, I could
> legitimately name a new sauropod "Brontosaurus".

Exactly.  _Brontosaurus_ is regarded as a junior subjective synonym of 
_Apatosaurus_, but there is a slim chance (OK, an extremely slim chance) that 
it could one day return to usage.

And the ICZN is even stricter, because even junior *objective* synonyms are 
considered to be valid names.  This is the case when two or more names have the 
same type specimen, and so there is zero chance of them being different 

In the case of the name _Leviathan_, it appears that Koch originally named the 
beastie _Levathan_ in 1841, then later changed the name to _Leviathan_ in a 
separate publication.  But the ICZN would regard this as an "unjustified 
emendation" - and as such, _Leviathan_ Koch is an objective junior synonym of 
_Levathan_ Koch.  In any case, Koch burned up a perfectly good name for a genus 
that was a junior subjective synonym of _Mammut_, the mastodon.