Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quick News: SV-POW & SVP

Last time I reported on the odd case of a crazy new amateur paper on Morrison sauropod diversity, including the naming of a new species of Amphicloelias. I hoped that the SV-POWsketeers would comment on this situation, and they have. Be sure to check out this post and it's two follow-ups, as well as the comments (including comments by one of the paper's authors). The upshot is that "A. brontodiplodocus" has not been published, and the authors claim the current .pdf is an unfinished manuscript, but that they stand by their ridiculous conclusions nevertheless. As far as I know, because the name has only appeared in electronic form which is not recognized by the ICZN, "A. brontodiplodocus" can't even be considered a nomen nudum. It may be a nomen manuscriptum or something.

In more pleasant, mainly non-taxonomic quibbling news, SVP is happening right now! Those of us lucky enough to not be within a few hours drive of Pittsburgh for once in their lives (I kid!) but unlucky enough for that one time to coincide with the biggest paleo event of the year, can follow the interesting stuff in real time on Twitter, thanks largely to the efforts of Brian Switek of Lealaps, who is braving the conference's strict press policy and lack of free wifi to get the news out. Follow @Laelaps for hints about sampling biases, even more new, weird ceratopsians, how Euoplocephalus is over-lumped (early '80s favorite Scolosaurus coming back, I wonder?), and which bloggers are going to the bar tonight.


  1. I think it's not a *nomen* anything -- as I understand it, it hasn't even been published by ICZN rules and thus (to the ICZN) doesn't exist.

  2. That's why I thought it might best be described as a nomen manuscriptum--manuscripts by their nature are not published. Or does it have to be a specifically print manuscript, distributed without intent to be a final record, to qualify?

  3. I am unaware, aside from informal mailing list chatter, about unusual terms like "nomen manuscriptum." Using a formalized term like a "nomen [blank]um" seems like a recognition that the term thus used is, in fact, recognized. It isn't, to my knowledge. The same is true for some mailing-list-formed terms, like "nomen dissertatione." Names not formally published, and not meeting ICZN terms, are not useful to discuss in any fashion, and thus terms to refer to them should not be favored.