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Re: [dinosaur] Middle Jurassic vertebrate assemblage from Siberia + dinosaurs of Pakistan + Arctic dinosaurs



Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:

> Gspsaurus pakistani is the skull previously referred to Marisaurus, since
> the latter's type lacks cranial material.  Good rationale, and once it's
> prepared will no doubt be more diagnostic than Marisaurus itself.  Also a
> Malkani staple is naming new families for Pakistani animals, so here we get
> the Gspsauridae.  The genus and family are credited to Malkani, 2014, but
> that is a conference abstract so is not valid according to the ICZN.


Not necessarily.  Names erected in a conference abstract can actually
be valid.  Article 9 of the ICZN Code doesn't actually preclude
abstracts from constituting published work, unless they are "issued
primarily to participants at meetings".  This caveat is fairly vague
to the point of being useless.  In this day and age, one could argue
that the internet allows any conference abstract to be widely
disseminated well beyond those to whom the abstract volume was
originally issued (i.e., those who attended the conference).  The
stegosaur genus _Gigantspinosaurus_ was named in a 1992 conference
abstract, but has nonetheless been accepted as valid (e.g., Maidment
et al., 2008; http: //dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1477201908002459). This is
presumably because the abstract included a description of
_Gigantspinosaurus_ (albeit in Chinese), and despite the likelihood
that the abstract volume was only issued to participants of a
particular conference.  So if _Gigantspinosaurus_ Ouyang (1992) can
pass muster as a valid name, I don't see why Malkani's (2014)'s names
wouldn't be valid as well.  I'm not endorsing this mode of publication
(conference abstracts) for naming new genera and species - quite the
opposite.  But the ICZN Code doesn't explicitly and comprehensively
prohibit it (alas, IMHO).

Some of this Pakistani dinosaur material looks potentially very
interesting, but it's a long way from being adequately described.  I
would guess the name _Gspsaurus_ (after the Geological Survey of
Pakistan) is intended to be pronounced G-S-P-saurus, rather than
wholly phonetically (which would be challenging to pronounce).

As a general rule, it would be helpful if *all* descriptions for new
genera and species included a recommended pronunciation.  It does
happen occasionally for dinosaurs, especially for 'non-classical'
names (e.g., _Nqwebasaurus_ de Klerk eta al., 2000 J. Vert. Paleontol.
20:324-332; _Suuwassea_ Harris, and Dodson, 2004 Acta Palaeontologica
Polonica 49:197-210).  But I think it should be standard for all new
zoological taxa, as it is for microorganisms (which also require an
explicit etymology).


> The first valid publication may be Malkani's 2015 "Dinosaurs, 
> mesoeucrocodiles,
> pterosaurs, new fauna and flora from Pakistan" which seems to follow all the
> rules.  The latter also names the redundant Gspsaurinae.
> Also supposedly named in 2014 but only in abstracts and actually named in
> that 2015 paper is Saraikimasoom vitakri.  This is for the skull previously
> referred to Balochisaurus, which again lacks referrable cranial material.
> Also supposedly a gspsaurid, this gets its own subfamily Saraikimasoominae
> in the 2015 paper.


I'm sure this plethora of families and subfamies will prove to be
enormous fun for future phylogenetic taxonomists.  :-P


> Incorrectly credited to Malkani's 2015 abstract "Titanosaurian sauropod
> dinosaurs from Pakistan" is the supposed saltasaurid Nicksaurus razashahi.
> It also seems to be properly named in the later 2015 paper.  Nice to see
> something referred to a non-exclusively Pakistani family.


What does "_Nicksaurus_" mean?  What is the "later 2015 paper"?


> One good thing about Malkani is that he makes all of his publications
> available online, so it's easy to find them all.  The 2015 paper is his best
> so far.


Ummm... yeah, I guess.