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RE: At long last! Turner, Makovicky & Norell on dromaeosaurids
<<"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
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:
<<*Bambiraptor feinbergi* (incorrectly written as "feinbergorum")>>
<How many people is it named after?>
More than one, but that's not the point. At
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
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_.