[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: terminology



On 18 January 2011 05:19, Denver Fowler <df9465@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> So here's a question for y'all.
>
> If Dinosauria are known as dinosaurs, are Titanosauria known as titanosaurs, 
> or
> titanosaurians? You can say "dinosaurians" if you like I guess... I'd like to 
> be
> technically correct (the best kind of correct).

The name Titanosauridae predates Titanosauria, and so the informal
term "titanosaur" was initially used to mean a member of
Titanosauridae.  Since the introduction of the broader clade
Titanosauria, that same informal term has also been used to mean any
member of Titanosauria.  For that reason, I and some other sauropod
workers prefer to avoid the term "titanosaur" completely, as
ambiguous.  So I use "titanosaurian" to mean a member of Titanosauria.
 It's a bit clumsy, but it's explicit.

(And as I'm sure you know, Wilson and Upchurch 2003 showed that the
genus Titanosaurus is no longer diagnosable, and that according to
ICZN rules this means that co-ordinated family-level names such as
Titanosauridae should no longer be used.  Most sauropod workers have
gone along with this, so the term "titanosaurid" is hardly used any
more.  W&U's more or less equivalent clade Lithostrotia is often used
instead.)

Hope that helps,

-- Mike.