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Re: Camarillasaurus, new Early Cretaceous ceratosaur theropod from Spain

Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:

First of all, I'll open with a comment about ceratosaur paleobiology,
because I don't solely want to discuss the nomenclature of this new
taxon.  Let's talk about the beasties themselves occasionally.  :-)

I'm intrigued by the idea that ceratosaurs in general were rare in
Australia because of the cold, high-latitude conditions that prevailed
across the south of the continent.  This hypothesis was mentioned in
the _Camarillasaurus_ paper and previously by Benson et al. (2012).
What is it about ceratosaurs that (putatively) made them not like the
cold?  Is the implication that they lacked the insulatory downy
integument ("dino-fuzz") of more derived theropods?  Or was it a
matter of prey preference?  Ceratosaurs might have targeted sauropods,
and sauropods were apparently absent from southern Australia in the
Cretaceous (again, because of the cold?).  I think it'd be interesting
to test for any biogeographical correlation between the relative
abundances of ceratosaurs and sauropods in the Cretaceous.

> And this is why Latin rules should not be a mandatory part of naming taxa.

I disagree entirely.  If we are going to continue to use ancient Latin
and Greek words when naming new taxa (and it's clear that we are),
then I think we should conform to the conventions of these languages.
Ancient Latin and Greek are both (long) dead languages, but I think we
can still be respectful by using their words correctly.

I'm not saying that "cirugedae" is at fault; I'm speaking much more
generally here.  I have in mind those "cut-and-paste" names such as
_Aberratiodontus_, _Gigantspinosaurus_ and most recently
_Sciurumimus_, where conventions have been totally ignored.  These
names make me wince.  I don't think we should be 'dumbing down'
scientific names simply because it (might) make them easier to

BTW, having grammatical correct names is mandatory when naming new
microbial species.  One of the reviewers will actually vet the grammar
and etymology of the proposed genus and/or species.  I've been through
this process several times, and IMHO it's a worthwhile exercise.