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

Ben Creisler

As mentioned by David Hone (one of the volume editors) on the vrtpalo list, a correction will apparently be added to the published version of New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology to revise Vesperopterylus as the valid spelling. If somebody uses the name in something published BEFORE the correction is out, please spell it Vesperopterylus!

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On Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 5:02 PM, Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:
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.