Thursday, September 17, 2009

Raptorex update

Above: Recon of Raptorex by Todd Marshall, from CBC News.

Quick taxonomic update: Having just gotten the paper, I can comment that Bill Parker's concerns over the name Raptorex kriegsteini (see previous post), echoed on the DML, are based on misrepresentation of the issue by the newspaper reports. At least one news story said that Kriegstein named the species after his parents, so by ICZN rules the species name needs to be R. kriegsteinorum (-orum being the correct suffix for a name honoring multiple people). However, the paper explicitly states that the species is named only for Roman Kriegstein, so the current name is correct. For the record, here's the entire etymology section from Sereno et al. 2009:

Etymology: raptor, plunderer (Greek); rex, king (Greek); kriegsteini, after Roman Kriegstein, in whose honor the specimen was secured for scientific study.

Also, the paper makes clear that, unlike I speculated before, Guanlong, Dilong and friends are still recovered as tyrannosauroids in the paper's cladogram, though more basal than Raptorex.


  1. The epithet is well-formed, but the generic name is ... odd.

  2. You are correct. I was misled by the newspaper reports as I did not have a copy of the actual paper yet. I wonder why they did not name it after both parents as stated in the articles? I believe it was quotes by two of the authors.

  3. Despite the chosen species, this new genus of Tyrannosaur, I find the possible role in the direct lineage of Tyrannosaurus rex, EXTREMELY Exciting! I mean, it seems that the Tyrannosaurs just started feeling like telling us their family tree! :D