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RE: Stegosaur volume of Swiss Journal of Geosciences
On Sun, 19/9/10, Anthony Docimo <email@example.com> wrote:
> so we call it a historical artifact. nomeclature is full of them
> (ie, "marsupial mice")
That's why we have scientific nomenclature: to avoid the problems inherent in
> and until the results of the final tests come in? no offense,
> but I
> doubt you can stop everyone from talking about _Ceratops_ and
> _Ceratopsidae_ until the last test is done.
> its like "innocent until proven guilty" -- we should assume it *is* a
> Ceratopsid *until* proven it is not.
Instead of turning a blind eye, I'd rather see _Ceratops_'s affinities tested
using phylogenetic analysis. However... as Mickey has said, because the
_Ceratops_ material is so fragmentary, it is likely that _Ceratops_ may come up
in more than one equally parsimonious position in the cladogram - such as
either inside or outside the clade specified by _Triceratops_ and
_Centrosaurus_. In this case, we're back to square one: is _Ceratops_ a
ceratopsid or not?
Because PhyloCode requires that Ceratopsidae be defined using the name-giving
genus as a specifier, I'd rather see the _Ceratops_ issue resolved instead of
tip-toe-ing around it. Instead of resorting to special pleading to keep
Ceratopsidae alive, let's just admit it's unhelpful to define a clade using
_Ceratops_ as a specifier.