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RE: Platecarpus tympaniticus - how to analyze a nomen dubium

Mike Taylor wrote-

> > PhyloCode (which has yet to be implemented) states that if a clade name is 
> > based on a genus name, that genus must be used as an internal specifier. So 
> > again, not only must Ceratopsidae (and Ceratopsinae) include _Ceratops_, 
> > but _Ceratops_ must be included in the definition(s).
> Actually, I think the PhyloCode leaves enough wiggle-room for us to do
> what is obviously the right thing here: Article 11.7 is the relevant
> one, and it says "In the interest of consistency with the rank-based
> codes, it would be desirable for a clade whose name is converted from
> a typified name under a rank-based code, or is derived from the stem
> of a such a name, to include the type of the that name. Therefore,
> when a clade name is converted from a preexisting typified name or is
> a new or converted name derived from the stem of a typified name, the
> definition of the clade name must use the type species of that
> preexisting typified name or of the genus name from which it is
> derived (or the type specimen of that species) as an internal
> specifier."
> But we don't have to convert the rank-based name Ceratopsia, typified
> by Ceratops. Instead we can make a brand new clade Ceratopsia,
> anchored on whatever taxa we want, named not after an included type
> but after the characteristic morphological feature of the clade's
> member, i.e. a horned face.
> That's what I'd do, anyway, if it fell to me.

Er, so you'd erect Ceratopsia Taylor, 201X to replace Ceratopsia Marsh, 1890?  
I certainly hope the Phylocode doesn't usher in such ridiculous violations of 
authorship under the guise of naming clades homonymous with ranked taxa.  In 
this case, even your dishonest non-Ceratops-based Ceratopsia wouldn't work 
since basal ceratopsians lack horns.  So any claim to have a coincidentally and 
conveniently similar name merely due to the apomorphy you chose fails since an 
apomorphy based Ceratopsia would be some neoceratopsian subclade.

Also apomorphy-based definitions suck, but that's another topic. ;)

Again, I suggest we simply define Ceratopsidae in a way that definitely 
includes Ceratops (Ceratops montanus <- Protoceratops andrewsi, Leptoceratops 
gracilis) since the current definition of it being the centrosaur-chasmosaur 
clade isn't official anyway.  That way follow the ICZN and the Phylocode 
without any trickery.  Ceratopsia shouldn't even be an issue since Ceratops is 
obviously a ceratopsian, so (Ceratops montanus <- Pachycephalosaurus gregorii) 
is just fine as a definition.

Mickey Mortimer