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Re: [dinosaur] Evolution of giant flightless birds (free pdf)

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

> Not that that matters; orders are by definition as informal as Vegaviidae.

The fact that the name ends in -idae (and is clearly not a genus or
species) might mean that it's treated as a family-level taxon (per
Article 29.2), even though the original authors do not explicitly call
it a family.

> While I'm at it, I'm afraid that Article 32.5.1 is intended as extremely 
> narrow in application; the example given is naming a species "ninnaei" and 
> saying it's named after
> Linnaeus. A dictionary, or other knowledge of a language, is probably 
> considered "external information". However, the existence of the spelling 
> *Vesperopterylus* in the
> same paper means that this issue is moot; instead, a First Reviser is needed, 
> and that person can simply choose *Vesperopterylus* as the correct spelling 
> without even
> mentioning a reason as far as I understand Art. 24.2, especially 24.2.3:

Yes, that's my understanding as well.  The original publication
contains three variants of the spelling: _Versperopterylus_ and
_Vesperopterylus_, as well as _Versperopterus_ (lurking in the
supplementary materials).  The official spelling will be fixed by
whichever publication is the next to mention this pterosaur by name -
this publication will qualify as the First Reviser (intentionally or
not).  No formal nomenclatural note or petition is required.  Thus,
there is the potential that _Vesperopterylus_ (which appears twice in
the original publication) can be established as the official name.

For this 'First Reviser' thing, the situation regarding the naming of
the theropod _Ricardoestesia_ / _Richardoestesia_ is instructive.  In
this case, the original authors intended the genus to be called
_Ricardoestesia_ (Currie, Rigby, and Sloan, 1990).  During the
editorial process (and unbeknown to the authors) the name was
arbitrarily changed throughout the manuscript to _Richardoestesia_ -
this name appeared in the final publication, all but once.  The
intended spelling (_Ricardoestesia_) survived in a single figure
caption, overlooked by the editorial process.  This could have been
grounds to salvage the original intended spelling (_Ricardoestesia_)
in place of the incorrect variant (_Richardoestesia_).  Unfortunately,
the following year the unintended spelling _Richardoestesia_ appeared
in a published list of dinosaur names as the correct spelling
(Olshevsky, 1991).  Thus, this publication served as First Reviser,
and inadvertently fixed _Richardoestesia_ as the official name (which
was not Olshevsky's intention at all).

> "If a name is spelled in more than one way in the original work, the first 
> author to have cited them together and to have selected one spelling as 
> correct is the First
> Reviser. The selected spelling (if not incorrect under Articles 32.4. or 
> 32.5) is thereby fixed as the correct original spelling; any other spelling 
> is incorrect (and therefore
> unavailable [Art. 32.4])."

This ICZN loophole allows _Vesperopterylus_ (in place of
_Versperopterylus_ ) to become the 'correct' name.  But it has to
appear in the VERY NEXT publication.