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Re: Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae

Phillip Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com> wrote:

> George Olshevsky's book series, "Mesozoic Meanderings" also
> experienced similar scrutiny by the Zoological scientific
> community.  Interestingly, that scrutiny occurred over
> a decade ago.
> I guess these disputes take a lot of time to get resolved.

Yes, and as Mike and I have said, the proof of the pudding is in whether the 
scientific community actually accepts the new names.  There may not be 
unanimity on this point.  At least not initially.

In 1995, when Olshevsky, an amateur, erected several new tyrannosaurid genera 
(_Dinotyrannus_, _Jenghizkhan_, _Stygivenator_) - not in "Mesozoic Meanderings" 
but in a Japanese dinosaur magazine (not a scientific journal) - it was highly 
controversial.  Some professional paleontologists were extremely irate.  Yet, 
now these names are generally accepted as valid in the nomenclatural sense.  
(But not in the taxonomic sense: all are regarded as junior synonyms of other 
tyrannosaurid genera, so the names have effectively disappeared from usage.)

This lack of agreement happens with other nomenclatural issues.  For example, 
although it is recognized that _Jeholornis_ and _Shenzhouraptor_ are probably 
the same taxon, there is disagreement over which name has priority.  Because 
both names were validly published, it comes down to which name was published 
first (_Jeholornis_ or _Shenzhouraptor_), which in this particular case is not 
clear-cut.  Unless one or the other name takes hold as the 'valid' name through 
usage (I've got my money on _Jeholornis_), then it will require a formal 
petition to the ICZN in order to resolve this issue.  It's only when a matter 
is formally brought to the attention of the ICZN that the ICZN will act.  Until 
that point, the process is rather messy.