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Re: Proceedings of the "Quatrième sympos

There's also no real need to suppress nomina dubia in most cases. Just don't 
use them. Explicit suppression is only necessary to make a junior synonym the 
valid name (by suppressing the senior synonym).

Indeed, simply suppressing a nomen dubium may be counter-productive, because 
that will leave all unidentifiable material assigned to it nameless and 
taxonomically unassigned. It may be advisable in the case of especially 
pernicious or confusing nomina dubia*, but usually (since a nomen dubium is for 
practical purposes just another term for "[higher-level taxon] incertae 
sedis")**, simple reassignment to a higher-level taxon is enough. Essentially, 
most nomina dubia are leftovers of the original Linnean system (as opposed to 
the Linnean-Stricklandian one which was formalized into the ICZN Code).

* When a nomen dubium's type material is belatedly identified as belonging to a 
named taxon that would be a junior synonym, suppression would seem to be 
mandatory to continue use of that junior name by turning it into a nomen 

** Technically it rather means "taxon with crappy/ambiguous 
description/diagnosis or type material" (without either, it would be a nomen 



Jaime Headden <jaimeheadden@gmail.com> schrieb am Do, 27.3.2014:

 Betreff: Re: Proceedings of the "Quatrième sympos
 An: mickey_mortimer111@msn.com
 CC: "dinosaur@usc.edu" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
 Datum: Donnerstag, 27. März, 2014 13:02 Uhr
 Here comes Jaime and the
 semantic police.
 Mortimer writes:
 nomen dubium is a taxon that cannot be be diagnosed nor
 to a diagnosable taxon.  If
 it's a junior synonym, that's assigned to
 a diagnosable taxon.  It's not just a word
 for 'name I don't think is
 valid'.  Get it right, people.>>
 This definition does not occur
 under any published code of
 nomenclature in
 which the taxa listed can be covered. The ICZN does
 have a definition for "nomen dubium,"
 but it is a lot shorter:
 "nomen dubium (pl. nomina dubia),
 n.A Latin term meaning "a name of unknown
 or doubtful application"."
 I understand the need to have the term mean
 something grand and
 useful; as it is, the
 ICZN's definition isn't. This is largely due to
 practice: the term was often irregularly used,
 and how a person would
 call a taxon by it,
 and what they would do with the taxon
 subsequently, had much variation.
 Mickey does have a point:
 Norman's usage of terms is inappropriate. He
 is certainly using "nomen dubium" as
 a formal suppression tactic, but
 is itself an act the ICZN holds as a plenary power, not
 one it shares with anyone who can use the term
 "nomen dubium" for
 whatever. We
 can understand that the author feels that other
 taxa are "not useful"
 and maybe based on a little too much crap, or
 only have one autapomorphy, or are defined on
 an suite of characters
 which are unique to
 the taxon but lack a single, special autapomorphy.
 But he cites no work that demonstrates this.
 Norman is a classic
 taxonomist in this case,
 but shows little effort to validate this
 opinion with more rigorous, perhaps mathematic,
 On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at
 4:46 AM, Mickey Mortimer
 >> 385-404
 >> NORMAN, D.B. - On the taxonomy and
 diversity of Wealden iguanodontian dinosaurs (Ornithischia:
 Norman seems not to know what 'nomen dubium'
 "Sellacoxa pauli is considered to be a nomen dubium.
 The latter name should be suppressed. The partial skeleton
 NHMUK R3788 may be referred to the hypodigm of Barilium
 Then Sellacoxa is a junior synonym, not a nomen dubium.
 > "Huxleysaurus
 hollingtoniensis is therefore a nomen dubium and its name
 can safely be suppressed. NHMUK  R1148 (and a series of
 additional specimens that were given different numbers, but
 together form an associated set of skeletal remains
 collected at the same time from the same quarry - Norman, in
 press b) has been referred to the hypodigm of Hypselospinus
 Then Huxleysaurus is not a nomen dubium, it's a junior
 synonym of Hypselospinus.
 > "Darwinsaurus evolutionis is a nomen
 dubium and this name can safely be suppressed. The alleged
 holotype material can be referred Hypselospinus  fittoni
 and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis."
 > Again, by definition,
 that's not a nomen dubium.
 > "Dollodon seelyi is therefore a nomen
 dubium and the name can safely be suppressed. The material,
 which was regarded as the holotype of I. seelyi is
 considered to be referable to the taxon Iguanodon
 > And again.  And it continues, for
 Dollodon bampingi and Mantellodon.
 > A nomen dubium is a taxon that cannot be
 be diagnosed nor assigned to a diagnosable taxon.  If
 it's a junior synonym, that's assigned to a
 diagnosable taxon.  It's not just a word for 'name
 I don't think is valid'.  Get it right, people.
 > Mickey
 Jaime A.
 The Bite Stuff: http://qilong.wordpress.com/
 "Innocent, unbiased observation is a
 myth" - P. B. Medawar (1969)