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Re: [dinosaur] Nomenclatural status of genus Altispinax v. Huene, 1923
I agree 100% with Maisch that _Altispinax_ is a valid genus. I've
always considered _Altispinax_ to be the correct name for the theropod
represented by by the distinctive tall-spined dorsals (NHMUK 1828).
Friedrich von Huene often played fast and loose with dinosaur
taxonomy, and the entire _Alispinax_ morass is one of his worst
examples. However, one thing is clear: Huene was emphatic that the
genus name _Altispinax_ be attached to NHMUK 1828.
Maisch is not the first to suggest that Huene's _Altispinax_ is the
valid name for this tall-spined theropod. But he is the first to
propose that Huene erected the name _Altispinax dunkeri_ by deliberate
use of misidentification. Thus, according to Maisch, the correct
binomen is _Altispinax dunkeri_ Huene, 1923. This binomen is held to
be distinct from _Megalosaurus dunkeri_ Dames, 1884 (based on an
Other authors have maintained that, irrespective of the validity of he
name _Altispinax_, a new species name was required (because _M.
dunkeri_ Dames, 1884 is a nomen dubium). Hence, Paul (1988) erected
the new species _Acrocanthosaurus altispinax_ for NHMUK 1828. It was
subsequently recognized that _A. altispinax_ deserved its own genus
distinct from _Acrocanthosaurus_. Olshevsky's (1991) solution was to
erect the new genus _Becklespinax_ (named after fossil collector
Samuel Beckles) and the new combination _Becklespinax altispinax_,
whereas Rauhut (2000) revived Huene's genus _Altispinax_ to form the
new combination _Altispinax altispinax_. Rauhut's approach was my
preferred option. To my knowledge, Maisch's approach is novel, in
citing article 11.10 of the ICZN in support of the name _Altispinax
dunkeri_ as the correct genus and species (and relegating
_Acrocanthosaurus altispinax_, _Becklespinax altispinax_, and
_Altispinax altispinax_ to objective junior synonyms).
On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 12:15 AM, Ben Creisler <email@example.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> A new paper:
> Michael W. Maisch (2016),
> The nomenclatural status of the carnivorous dinosaur genus Altispinax v.
> Huene, 1923 (Saurischia, Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of England.
> Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen 280(2): 215-219
> The nomenclatural status of the theropod dinosaur genus Altispinax v. Huene,
> 1923, known from a single specimen from the Wealden of East Sussex, England,
> is discussed. It is shown that Altispinax dunkeri v. Huene, 1923 is a valid
> taxon according to the ICZN, based onv. Huene’s original description. The
> species was erected by a deliberate use of misidentification according to
> article 11.10 of the ICZN, and not based on the isolated, most probably
> undiagnostic tooth from northern Germany described by Dames in 1884, but on
> diagnostic material, three articulated vertebrae, from the Wealden of East
> Sussex (NHMUK 1828). Both the specific name Acrocanthosaurus altispinax
> Paul, 1988 and the generic name Becklespinax Olshevsky, 1991 are junior
> objective synonyms.