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Re: Europelta, new nodosaur from Early Cretaceous of Spain



Brad McFeeters <carnosaurtrilogy> wrote:

> Or better still they should have named the clade Europeltinae.  
> "Struthiosaur" is such a misnomer.


Agreed.  The name _Struthiosaurus_ goes back to 1871 when Emmanuel
Bunzel, an Austrian doctor (physician) and amateur fossil collector,
thought the small incomplete braincase was quite birdlike, so he named
the specimen _Struthiosaurus_ ("ostrich lizard").  Harry Govier Seeley
re-identified it as an ankylosaur in 1881.  Still, we're stuck with
the very "birdy" name.  :-)


Kirkland et al. chose the name Struthiosaurinae for a new nodosaurid
clade based on priority of coordinated family-level taxa: the name
Acanthopholinae was unavailable (being based on _Acanthopholis_,
regarded as a nomen dubium), and "Struthiosaurinae is the next
published term available to use for this clade", having been coined by
Nopcsa in 1923.  Personally, I don't think we have to be so fastidious
in using family-level priority when defining new clades.  Europeltinae
or even Hungarosaurinae would have been more appropriate than
Struthiosaurinae, because they are founded upon much better known taxa
(_Europelta_ and _Hungarosaurus_).  Who cares that Struthiosaurinae
was named nearly a century ago; back then Nopcsa thought
_Struthiosaurus_ was closely related to _Troodon_ and _Stegoceras_, as
well as a few bona fide ankylosaurs.


At least Europeltinae fits with Kirkland &c's definition, which has
_Europelta_ as an internal specifier.  As Tom mentioned, it would also
be sensible to have an unambiguous ankylosaurid as an external
specifier.


The _Europelta_ description also includes a few interesting points
regarding Asian ankylosaur genera.  _Dongyangopelta_ is considered a
likely junior synonym of _Zhejiangosaurus_ by Kirkland &c.  Also, a
new ankylosaur genus is mentioned from Gansu Province, based on a
paper in Vertebrata PaAsiatica (publication date given as 2013).  I
don't think the latter has been published yet, and the name is
therefore presumably technically a nomen nudum - so I won't mention it
here.





Cheers

Tim

On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM, Brad McFeeters
<archosauromorph2@hotmail.com> wrote:
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