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RE: At long last! Turner, Makovicky & Norell on dromaeosaurids



I wrote:

<<"As we have discussed earlier, we view it as problematic to include 
*Epidendrosaurus* in a phylogenetic analysis because of the extremely poor 
level of preservation, which results in much missing data, and the likely 
juvenile status of the holotype specimen. Our exploratory analysis reinforces 
this latter point. All three recovered synapomorphies are subject to 
ontogenetic changes and the observed morphology and proportions of the holotype 
of *Epidendrosaurus* may very well be different from its adult phenotype. 
[...]">>

David Marjanovic wrote:

<Synapomorphies of *Epidendrosaurus* and what?>

  The preceding two sentences of the quoted section were:
"Exploratory analysis including *Epidendrosaurus* finds it a basal avialan 
(fig. 76A). A metatarsal I that articulates with the medial surface of the 
distal end of metatarsal II (char. 205.3) and a femur that is equal in length 
to or shorter than the ulna (char. 236.1) and the humerus (char. 266.2) support 
this relationship." - Turner et al., 2012:pp.130-131.

<Oh, do they mean _aut_apomorphies, like they do in the quote below about 
Jinfengopteryginae?>

  They are actually referring to synapomorphies. BTW, the paper is free, but 
the link loads the file directly, so be prepared as it is large: 
http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/bitstream/handle/2246/6352/B371.pdf?sequence=1

<<*Bambiraptor feinbergi* (incorrectly written as "feinbergorum")>>

<How many people is it named after?>

More than one, but that's not the point. At 
http://qilong.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/dromaeosaurs-are-terrestrial-hawks/ I 
make the following point:
"[n1] Bambiraptor feinbergi was coined by Burnham et al. (2000) with the 
intention of honoring the entire Feinberg family, whom had donated resources to 
enable the acquisition by the AMNH of the holotype and paratype specimens. The 
formation of the name feinbergi is in keeping with treatments of names honoring 
single individuals, but according to the International Code of Zoological 
Nomenclature [ICZN] (1985, 3rd edition), names honoring multiple individuals 
must take the form -arum (when all honored persons are female) or -orum (when 
at least one honored person is male), but not -i (male) or -ae (female). In 
keeping with this tradition, Olshevsky (2000) emended the nomenclature to 
feinbergorum, which has since been followed (e.g., Turner et al., 2007a and 
Norell & Makovicky, 2004). However, as of the release of the 4th edition of the 
Code (which took effect on January 1st, 2000, a date antecedent to Olshevsky, 
2000 [which was released towards the middle of that year), this requirement is 
no longer in effect. Currently, the only spellings that must be corrected are 
"clear evidence of an inadverdent error, such as a lapsus calami or a copyist's 
or printer's error" (Art.32.5.1) or "a name published with a diacritic or other 
mark" (Art.32.5.2). As stressed by the Code, "[i]ncorrect transliteration or 
latinization, or use of an inappropriate connecting vowel, are not to be 
considered inadvertent errors.” Thus, use and affirmation of “feinbergorum” as 
the correct spelling of the name is in error, and should be discontinued."

  As to whether I am correct or not, I've yet to be directly contradicted, but 
this means very little. The authors intended, after Jan 1, 2000, to name the 
animal "feinbergi" -- the ICZN says this should be "feinbergorum," to which 
Olshevsky corrected, but the ICZN no longer says the name can be changed, by 
any revisor, on that fact alone.


<What I know is of highly influential people (Gauthier, de Queiroz...) who put 
a lot of emphasis on crown-groups and total groups. They want to use basic 
names for crown-groups, form the names of total groups by adding the prefix 
*Pan-* (with the hyphen, and with retaining the following capital letter), and 
form the names of apomorphy-based clades -- in cases the name refers to an 
apomorphy -- by adding *Apo-*. So, *Spermatophyta* would be a crown-group, its 
total group would be *Pan-Spermatophyta*, and the first seed (Greek: _sperma_) 
plus all its descendants would be *Apo-Spermatophyta*. All jinfengopterygines 
are dead, so the above paragraph does not and cannot apply to them.>

  It was my implication (and understanding) that there IS an effort to suggest 
that all different clade definitions have generalized prefixes. 

"Allowing etymological meanings to influence the selection of clade names does 
not violate the general principle of both rank-based and phylogenetic 
nomenclature that the primary function of a name is to provide a means of 
referring to a taxon—that is, as opposed to indicating its characters, 
relationships, or membership[.]"

<Turner et al. apparently want to retain hierarchical information: they want 
the name Jinfengopteryginae to have some indication that it is part of some 
clade whose name ends in -idae. Fine, but with the potential of major confusion 
when the phylogenetic hypothesis changes.> - deQuieroz, 2007:pg.962.

  Perhaps I extended the metaphor too readily, but there was at least SOME 
proposal to consider this for nodes, though I do not think it was published -- 
likely on the PhyloCode message group before I left it.

  The names are largely relevant only to those who work on the taxa in 
particular; they are not necessarily important to those who do not specialize 
in the field. One big point here is that the use of coordinated nomenclature 
and ranks is that in the old days, you _counted_ taxa via their ranks, not by 
the species within them per se. It was easy then to consider the size or 
relevance of taxon by the stem of its name. I have written more than a few 
posts to my blog on the subject of inflation of importance when it comes to 
"raising" or "dropping ranks", -inae to -idae etc. or with "raising" species to 
"genera", as though that means anything even in the framework of ranks 
themselves. The problem lies in exterior implications for "genera," "families," 
"suborders," etc., which are historical and rife with error (as you well know).

<Oh, I need to fix this, because there has never been a *Jeholornis prima*. 
_Ornis_ is a he, not a she; it's *Jeholornis primus* Zhou & Zhang, 2002, even 
though Zhou & Zhang have never spelled it that way. The ICZN is almost clear on 
this (uncharacteristically): the correction is automatic, no emendation needs 
to be published, and the corrected spelling must be attributed to the original 
authors (not, for example, to the authors of any unnecessary emendation).>

  I'm not sure on that:
"Article 31. Species-group names.
31.2. Agreement in gender. A species-group name, if it is or ends in a Latin or 
latinized adjective or participle in the nominative singular, must agree in 
gender with the generic name with which it is at any time combined.
31.2.1. A species-group name that is a simple or compound noun (or noun phrase) 
in apposition need not agree in gender with the generic name with which it is 
combined (the original spelling is to be retained, with gender ending 
unchanged; see Article 34.2.1).
31.2.2. Where the author of a species-group name did not indicate whether he or 
she regarded it as a noun or as an adjective, and where it may be regarded as 
either and the evidence of usage is not decisive, it is to be treated as a noun 
in apposition to the name of its genus (the original spelling is to be 
retained, with gender ending unchanged; see Article 34.2.1)."

  Article 34.2.1 concerns species among "Mandatory changes in spelling 
consequent upon changes in rank or combination." This isn't relevant here, and 
if I had my way wouldn't ever be relevant.

  My reading of this is that _primus_ is a noun in apposition, and _prima_ is 
its femine form. As such, there is no need to change it. Yes, they should have 
followed the convention from the beginning. We can't win it all. If I ever name 
something that isn't blindingly obviously _easy_, I'm gonna run it through at 
least two nomenclators (or three).

<It only says: "The scientists' research findings were published in this 
month's issue of the Geological Bulletin of China". It doesn't explicitly say 
that anything was printed. Did that journal publish online-early in 2002?>

  Unlike _Nature_, that journal did not publish online at all -- at that time. 
The date given by the link was the apparent date in which the news feed had 
acquired hardcopy. This is given as evidence for physical printing. This is 
also one of the reasons why Zhou and Zhang are trying to assert _weekly_ versus 
_monthly_ status for precedence.

<If it did not, you're right, and *Shenzhouraptor sinensis* has priority over 
*Jeholornis primus*.>

  But ... this debate has been going on for a decade now.

<That depends. Are they optimized as reversals?>

  The analysis only gives state-order changes for two characters (noted in the 
post) and in both, neither were reversals. The analysis also does not give 
optimizations for DELTRAN or ACCTRAN, so I assume the former.

<Lacrimal (_os lacrimale_, "tear bone"), from Latin _lacrima_ (preclassical 
_lacruma_), "tear". The Greek for that is _dakryma_, with the exact same 
unaspirated /k/ and without the occasional Latin shift from /d/ to /l/ (as in 
_lingua_, or in _Ulixes_ from Greek _Odysseus_).>

  I wish, but the convention for British to American English has been to use 
"lachrymal" for a while now. And no, I will never, ever print _os lachrymale_. 
*shudder*