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[dinosaur] Oculudentavis again



I recently discussed this issue with my friend Peter Paul van Dijk, who is (for those who don't know) both an expert on turtle nomenclature and the Nomenclature Specialist (Animals) for the CITES Convention.  He has agreed that I can post his comment to the list as long as I add his note that "I'm only one fallible human and all I provide is a considered interpretation, not the final word".

From Peter Paul:

"I had a look through the case file you put together below, and did what I thought was the most logical thing to do to check on the validity of this name: I went to zoobank. And bingo, there it is listed with reference to the original paper in Nature in March:

"The original paper is listed as archived in PubMed. There is no way to wipe all traces of this paper, and its submission to zoobank can probably only be undone by an application to the ICZN. So my provisional interpretation of the situation is that the names (genus and species epithets) remain valid and available, as are the type species designation and the holotype designation. The terse retraction notice seems to focus on the originally proposed phylogeny (which may have affected interpretation of morphological features and thus the description and diagnosis), for which (as suggested) a follow-up article to re-interpret the specimen and its phylogenetic position would be appropriate, not a retraction. A retraction would be appropriate for an article that has subsequently been proven to be intentionally flawed or misleading (cold fusion, or Korean cloning papers), but even then I doubt it would erase a validly published name. The ICZN Code does not include the word 'retract', and I'm not aware of a case where an author unilaterally retracted a name being recognized as such. Quite the opposite, when Peter Pritchard used manuscript names for a couple of Kinosternon taxa and his 1979 Encyclopedia of Turtles was published earlier than the original names, he had to submit a petition to the ICZN to suppress the names that the rules credited to the first publication (his) and convey authorship to the next (and proper) authors of the intended original description paper."

Ronald Orenstein
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