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RE: [dinosaur] Nomenclatural status of genus Altispinax v. Huene, 1923
I agree Altispinax was intended to be attached to the vertebrae. Rauhut (2000)
was using a 1926 paper for his argument. But Tim, I'm surprised to hear you
support Maisch's use of Article 11.10 to validate Altispinax dunkeri.
Article 11.10 is- "Deliberate employment of misidentifications.
If an author employs a specific or subspecific name for the type species
of a new nominal genus-group taxon, but deliberately in the sense of a
previous misidentification of it, then the author's employment of the
name is deemed to denote a new nominal species and the specific name is
available with its own author and date as though it were newly proposed
in combination with the new genus-group name (see Article 67.13 for fixation as
type species of a species originally included as an expressly stated earlier
misidentification, and Article 69.2.4 for the subsequent designation of such a
species as the type species of a previously established nominal genus or
So because Huene (1923) said the vertebrae referred to Megalosaurus dunkeri
should be separated as Altispinax but never suggested a new species, Article
11.10 deems that to be the creation of the species dunkeri for Altispinax,
different from Megalosaurus dunkeri which is based on a tooth. How is this
different from the implicit creation of family-level group names when an author
names one family-level group? Surely it's at least as subjective. I mean,
I'll follow it because I think Maisch got the rules right, but rationally I
agree with Rauhut that the first explicitly proposed species name (Paul's
altispinax) should count. Or do you merely follow whatever consensus is, which
is here Altispinax and there Tyrannosauridae?
> Date: Tue, 10 May 2016 18:02:38 +1000
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [dinosaur] Nomenclatural status of genus Altispinax v. Huene,
> 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
> isolated tooth).
> 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.
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