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Re: [dinosaur] Teihivenator, new genus for "Laelaps" macropus



David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> From skimming the paper, and taking into account that this isn't my
> specialty, it seems to me that the author shows very clearly that the
> material is diagnostic, and that careful investigation of fragments
> discovered long ago can pay off. Wonderful! We need more like this.


It's great that fragmentary material originally named so long ago, and
subsequently written off as a nomen dubium, receives this level of
scrutiny.  Time will tell if the validity of _Teihivenator_ withstands
further revision.  I'm a tad concerned that some of the points of
difference between _Teihivenator_ and _Dryptosaurus_ could be due to
individual variation or preservational artifacts (something mentioned
in passing by Yun).  Also, considering that the _Teihivenator_
holotype is so meager, IMHO it would have been handy to include photos
of the original material, not just hand-drawn figures.


> The upside is that this is an opportunity to improve the name itself.
> Venator isn't Greek as the paper explicitly claims, it's Latin, as you can
> already see from the fact that there's a V in it. Using an Arapaho word for
> a genus from New Jersey, when the Arapaho live in Colorado, Wyoming and more
> recently Nebraska and Oklahoma, is an odd choice.


If nothing else, this highlights the need for explicit etymologies in
published descriptions.  Not only is 'venator' a Latin word, but like
you I'm curious why the word "teihiihan" was chopped up to provide the
prefix.  Why not call the genus 'Teihiihanvenator", or simply just
"Teihiihan"?  In Arapaho legend, the name 'Teihiihan' is also applied
to child-sized, cannibalistic warriors that were deadly enemies of the
Arapaho.  So that name alone could have been appropriate for a small
ferocious theropod.



Brad McFeeters <archosauromorph2@hotmail.com> wrote:

> To be fair, Latin was never spoken in ancient New Jersey, either.  :)


Unless an ancient Roman sailor got *really* blown off course.  :-)

Speaking of Latin... 'Jersey' is purported to be derived from the
Latin name 'Caesarea', attributed to the largest of the Channel
Islands when part of the Roman Empire.  (Though the linguistic
connection between 'Caesarea' and 'Jersey' is tenuous, to say the
least.)  Nonetheless, coins minted in colonial New Jersey were stamped
with the words "Nova Caesarea".  There's a fossil bird from New Jersey
named _Novacaesareala_ ("New Jersey wing") from the Hornerstown
Formation.