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RE: Stegosaur volume of Swiss Journal of Geosciences

  Moreover, *Noasaurus leali* possesses so far a maxilla and cervcial neural 
arch that differs recognizably from that of *Masiakasaurusd knopfleri*, making 
the two directly distinguishable -- and thus comparable. As they can be 
differentiated, it is left to the readers to assume that the material percent 
known is the justification for "better" taxon to base superior nomenclature 

  As this not only dismisses the system of priority a la ICZN, it further 
treads on the toes of the ICZN by assuming nomenclature in the form of the 
-idae (for recognizability?) which is automatically assumed by anyone using the 
other dismissed system to be a Family (ranked taxon). Any author proposing this 
"solution" would then have done nothing but muddy the waters.


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 02:53:43 -0700
> From: keesey@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Stegosaur volume of Swiss Journal of Geosciences
> On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 10:59 PM, Tim Williams  wrote:
> >
> > For the sake of stability, I really do think it is better to anchor clades 
> > in well-known taxa.  And by 'well-known' I mean scientifically well-known 
> > (i.e., not fragmentary).
> >
> [...]
> >
> > To that end, if it comes to pass that we have Centrosauridae instead of 
> > Ceratopsidae, and Struthiomimidae instead of Ornithomimidae, and 
> > Masiakasauridae instead of Noasauridae, and Sinraptoridae instead of 
> > Metriacanthosauridae, then so be it.  IMHO, stability is more important 
> > than priority.
> This approach is patently UNstable, because it's always possible to
> find something "better-known" than what came before. Consider
> Masiakasaurus: sure, it's better-known than Noasaurus, but there are
> many major elements missing. As I recall, most of the skull is not
> present, there are no forelimb elements past the humerus, no ilia,
> many missing vertebrae, etc. It's only a matter of time before we find
> a related specimen which is more complete, and then you'll be lobbying
> to change the taxon's name *again*.
> (And, for that matter, it's also possible that we might find more of 
> Noasaurus.)
> --
> T. Michael Keesey
> Technical Consultant and Developer, Internet Technologies
> Glendale, California
> http://tmkeesey.net/