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Re: Andrew McDonald response re: European iguanodonts



Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com> wrote:


> I think there's a good reason for not using *Ceratopsidae*, as *Ceratops 
> montanus* may not fall in the classic formulation *Ceratopsidae* is used for. 
> If we associated *Ceratopsidae* to enforce
> inclusion of its nominative taxon, it increases or decreases from its classic 
> (and _currently defined_ -- however useful that is) content, but the crap 
> that is the holotype lacks this quality of surety.
>  *Ceratopsidae* including only *Ceratops montanus* (it's strictest use) is 
> wildly divergent from its classic formulation (and definition). This is in 
> defiance of the concept of "stability" that taxonomy
> is supposed to be moving toward.


There's been a lot if jiggery-pokery to keep _Ceratops_ alive as a
valid genus, simply (and solely) because it is the name-bearing genus
for Ceratopsidae.  However, I have to admit that Mickey provided a
moderately convincing case that _Ceratops montanus_ might actually be
diagnostic at the species level, based on a unique combination of
characters:


http://dml.cmnh.org/2010Sep/msg00329.html


So I'm willing to give _Ceratops_ the benefit of the doubt; it might
not be a nomen dubium after all.  Having said that, it's status is
borderline at best, so it's a poor choice to name any coordinated
family-level clade after (Ceratopsidae, Ceratopsinae).  It certainly
does not contribute in a positive way to the concept of stability that
Jaime mentioned, which should be paramount.  This is the reason why we
use Tyrannosauridae in preference to Deinodontidae.



Cheers

Tim