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Re: Pantydraco and the worst dinosaur name
The worst dinosaur name is obviously *Megapnosaurus*, which is
apparently so distasteful that hardly anyone uses it. Or did I just
miss the announcement that *Syntarsus* was never preoccupied after
all? (Tykoski & Rowe 2004 list *Megapnosaurus* as a junior synonym
of *Syntarsus*, then proceed to use *Syntarsus* for the rest of the
chapter... Carrano & Sampson 2008 use *Syntarsus* exclusively,
without comment... ???)
This is completely unacceptable; I'm with Jaime on this one.
At the same time I agree with avoiding the name *Megapnosaurus*. Not
just because it fails etymology (we had the discussion here on the list;
it should have been *Megalapnoosaurus*); not just because of the
sentiment behind it (paraphrasing: "to us entomologists, it's just a big
dead lizard, har har" -- for crying out loud, "bird" or even "crocodile"
would have been less wrong than "lizard"); but also for what led to
publication. As we learned on this list, the authors first did what is
right, which is to try to inform Raath that his name was preoccupied.
But how did they do this? By sending him one letter. The stupidity of
sending a letter to a white man in Zimbabwe in 1999 is hard to top. As
they should have expected, they didn't receive an answer; then someone
mistakenly told them Raath was dead, and they stopped contacting Raath's
colleagues and went ahead with publication. All this while, we were told
on this list, Raath had noticed *Syntarsus* was preoccupied and had
prepared a paper with another replacement name. And there was desking of
heads and palming of faces.
For the time being, again like Jaime, I'm for lumping: *Coelophysis
rhodesiensis*. After all, it's not as if any other reason for lumping or
splitting genera were any better -- any less subjective, any less petty
-- from a scientific point of view.
I hear *"Syntarsus" kayentakatae* will be redescribed anyway and will
receive a completely new genus name. Can someone confirm this?
*Pantydraco* at least has a cooler name than its close relative
*Ignavusaurus,* the "coward lizard."
Big failure at elementary Latin grammar in that last one. The stem of
ignavus ("idle, powerless, inept, weak, slothful, lazy, cowardish;
exhausting"; noun: "coward") isn't ignavu-, it's ignavo-. There are no
adjectives with a stem in u- (and very few nouns). See also
*Cristatusaurus* and *Lurdusaurus*, <sigh>.