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RE: Hypselospinus (Iguanodontia) from Early Cretaceous of Britain revised

95% of papers use nomen dubium the correct way, it's just exceptions like 
Norman or that Rapator paper from a few years ago that get it wrong.  A term 
meaning "a taxon that cannot be referred to a valid species because it cannot 
be distinguished from two or more species" is a useful concept to have, so I 
think it's worth fighting for instead of tossing it aside.  As for rank-based 
nomenclature, I really wonder why Norman thought that could possibly be useful 
to include.  It's like the workers who keep using paraphyletic taxa.  Why?  
You're not going to be viewed positively by the future.  The taxonomic 
zeitgeist is leaving you in the dust.

Mickey Mortimer

> Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 02:18:25 -0800
> From: jaimeheadden@gmail.com
> To: mickey_mortimer111@msn.com
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Hypselospinus (Iguanodontia) from Early Cretaceous of Britain 
> revised
> The misuse of "nomen dubium" is systemic in paleontology. It's not
> used consistently, as though multiple ideas are warring for rightness.
> Some erroneously try to cite the ICZN for validation; others use it to
> mean a non-diagnostic name-bearing type; yet others use it (more
> prevalently) for a name you wish to sink into others. I covered this
> more here: 
> http://qilong.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/what-if-anything-is-a-nomen-dubium/
> It doesn't matter what you work on. You'll tend to misuse the term if
> you feel "right" and the other "wrong." Tossing the term aside as a
> mere form of art will be preferable, as it is art stacked on art, a
> frame to a picture without any supportive or protective component.
> Imagine walking in a museum and while traveling through the galleries
> you hear, "Oh, look how pretty this frame is, this must be an
> important painting!" It is no less true of taxonomy, and the term of
> art, "nomen dubium" runs afoul of the same errors that continue use of
> rank-based nomenclature, or ranks themselves. It is particularly
> notable that Norman misuses both.
> On Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 2:02 AM, Mickey Mortimer
> <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:
>> Norman's nomenclature leaves much to be desired. He misuses 'nomen dubium' 
>> as a term for junior synonyms, doesn't get the point of phylogenetic 
>> nomenclature, and redefines most ornithopod clades in terrible ways that are 
>> unnecessary and/or only function in his phylogeny. Hadrosauromorpha's a good 
>> idea though. See my blog post at 
>> http://theropoddatabase.blogspot.com/2014/12/normans-nomenclatures-notoriously.html
>>  for the details.
>> Mickey Mortimer
>> ----------------------------------------
>>> Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2014 09:01:15 -0800
>>> From: bcreisler@gmail.com
>>> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>>> Subject: Hypselospinus (Iguanodontia) from Early Cretaceous of Britain 
>>> revised
>>> Ben Creisler
>>> bcreislerf@gmail.com
>>> A new online paper:
>>> David B. Norman FLS (2014)
>>> On the history, osteology, and systematic position of the Wealden
>>> (Hastings group) dinosaur Hypselospinus fittoni (Iguanodontia:
>>> Styracosterna).
>>> Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (advance online publication)
>>> DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12193
>>> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zoj.12193/abstract
>>> The history of discovery and interpretation of several dinosaurs
>>> collected from quarries near the town of Hastings during the latter
>>> half of the 19th century is more complicated than it should be. Samuel
>>> Husbands Beckles and Charles Dawson collected several large ornithopod
>>> skeletons from this area, but just a few bones from these skeletons
>>> were subsequently described and interpreted (principally) by Richard
>>> Owen and Richard Lydekker. All these specimens merited recognition
>>> because they had the potential to contribute to an on-going debate
>>> about the anatomical structure and relationships of the iconic Wealden
>>> dinosaur Iguanodon. Unfortunately, no detailed description of these
>>> important skeletons was published in later years. Furthermore,
>>> previously known associations of bones and even provenance
>>> information, linked to the specimens that were gradually acquired by
>>> the Natural History Museum, are unclear. Confusion may have arisen
>>> because Richard Lydekker used the private collector Charles Dawson as
>>> a voluntary curatorial assistant. This account documents the past work
>>> on the osteology of material that can be attributed to Hypselospinus
>>> fittoni. Nearly all such material is described here for the first
>>> time, and every effort has been made to re-establish associations
>>> between bones as well as provenance information. A skeletal
>>> reconstruction of Hypselospinus is attempted on the basis of the
>>> hypodigm. Most of the on-going confusion concerning the affinity of
>>> this material with either Hy. fittoni or its sympatric contemporary
>>> Barilium dawsoni has been resolved. Hypselospinus fittoni (Lydekker,
>>> 1889) is rediagnosed on the basis of this new and relatively
>>> comprehensive anatomical description, and this animal is compared with
>>> known contemporary and closely related taxa. Some recently published
>>> accounts claiming to be revisions of the taxonomy of Wealden
>>> ‘iguanodonts’, including material belonging to the hypodigm of Hy.
>>> fittoni, have failed to adhere to basic taxonomic principles and have
>>> caused more confusion than was strictly necessary. The systematic
>>> position of Hypselospinus is reassessed cladistically. The cladistic
>>> analysis forms the basis for a revised hierarchical classification of
>>> derived ornithopods. The consensus topology generated by the
>>> systematic analysis has been used to explore the phylogenetic history
>>> of these dinosaurs and create an internally consistent classificatory
>>> hierarchy (phylogenetic definitions and Linnaean diagnoses are given
>>> for critical positions in the topology). This analysis suggests that
>>> there is a fundamental split amongst the more derived (clypeodontan)
>>> ornithopod ornithischians into the clades Hypsilophodontia and
>>> Iguanodontia. There is evidence for anatomical parallelism and
>>> convergence (homoplasy) particularly between large-bodied
>>> representatives of both clades. Hypselospinus is one of the earliest
>>> known styracosternan iguanodontians and displays anatomical
>>> characteristics that presage the evolution of the extraordinarily
>>> abundant and diverse hadrosaurs of the latest Cretaceous
>>> (Campanian−Maastrichtian). These observations cast fresh light on the
>>> phylogeny, classification, diversity, and biology of derived
>>> ornithopods. There is little doubt that Hy. fittoni could have been
>>> understood far better more than a century ago. That this statement is
>>> undoubtedly true is reflected in the century of doubt and confusion
>>> that has surrounded this taxon and its original incarnation as
>>> Iguanodon fittoni.
> --
> Jaime A. Headden
> The Bite Stuff: http://qilong.wordpress.com/
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth" - P. B. Medawar (1969)