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Pickering's nomina nuda (was RE: Rob Gay's print-on-demand publication of Kayentavenator elysiae
Re-posted without truncation:
I really didn't think that *anyone* accepts Pickering's proposed new genera
("Walkersaurus") and species ("Elaphrosaurus philtippetensis", "Tyrannosaurus
stanwinstonorum", etc) as valid. Even George Olshevsky, who has erected
several dinosaurs names via self-publication, regards Pickering's names as
nomina nuda (e.g., see http://www.polychora.com/dinolist.html).
Pickering's self-published 'works' typically take the form of paranoid rants
that cover a wide range of topics, from national socialism to Sigmund Freud to
King Kong; the new dinosaur names are inserted as a kind of afterthought.
However, neither the deplorable and self-indulgent quality of his works, nor
the fact that the works were self-published, are the reasons why Pickering's
names are universally held to be nomina nuda. As Jaime says, it is because
Pickering made no attempt to establish a permanent scientific record. It
appears that his 'works' (newsletters) were sent unsolicited to various
paleontologists (and others, such as Steven Spielberg), and therefore qualify
only as private correspondence.
Thus, when Roger Benson erected the new genus _Duriavenator_ for _Megalosaurus
hesperis_, the fact that Pickering had previously named the same species
"Walkersaurus" had no impact at all on priority, because "Walkersaurus" was a
Nevertheless, it is a frightening thought that if Pickering had bothered to
deposit his 'works', and made them accessible, that we might have been stuck
with all his horrible monikers ("Elaphrosaurus philtippetensis", and so on).
Then again, the more likely outcome is that subsequent workers would have
ignored his plethora of names in their own publications - which seems to have