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Re: Archaeopteryx London specimen made neotype by ICZN



 OPINION 2283 (Case 3390) Archaeopteryx lithographica von Meyer, 1861
 (Aves): conservation of usage by designation of a neotype. Bulletin
 of Zoological Nomenclature 68 (3): 230-233

 The Commission has set aside all previous type fixations for the
 nominal species Archaeopteryx lithographica von Meyer, 1861 and
 designated a feathered specimen (BMNH 37001) in the Natural History
 Museum, London as the neotype. The holotype (a feather impression)
 was not identifiable to species and could belong to any taxon of
 fossil birds recognised from the Solnhofen limestone.

A good but unnecessary decision, because the feather never was the holotype. The paper that describes the feather and erects the name attributes the name to a then very recently discovered, undescribed and not illustrated skeleton that must be the London specimen. This is done in a throwaway remark at the end of the paper, but it's nonetheless clear that the name is attributed to the skeleton and not to the feather. It's along the lines of "oh, and I hear a skeleton has just been found which could be called *Archaeopteryx lithographica*".

Of course, this throwaway remark would by no means count as a modern holotype designation. Still, it is unambiguous in attaching the name to the skeleton and not to the feather.

The relevant passages of that paper used to be online somewhere, and several people commented on them on this list, myself included. More recently, that website was taken down, as I then mentioned on this list.