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Re: Titanoceratops, giant ceratopsian from New Mexico

Yes, I was thinking this: if you discount all the ontogenetically
variable features within Triceratops, and you have that Torosaurus
latus bears the apomorphies of the clade Triceratops, but does not
preserve the anatomical region or the ontogenetic stage bearing the
distinction between both Triceratops species, and you have no unique
features distinguishing it from the said Triceratops species, you have
also the alternative that you cannot with the present materials refer
Torosaurus latus to either a different species or one of the two
Triceratops species. This is a common situation, at least for
incompletely preserved fossils. I do not claim this is the case in the
present problem, although it may, considering the ontogenetic stages
of Torosaurus and Triceratops do not seem to overlap.

2011/1/2 Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com>:
> Augusto's idea is better expressed by latus being an indeterminate species of 
> Triceratops.  I agree with Jaime you can't just throw a species away as 
> "Triceratops incertae sedis" or "Triceratops indet." *cough Mochlodon cough*, 
> but you can have Triceratops latus as a species which is not a definite 
> synonym of another species, and is also not necessarily unique.  Not that I 
> have an opinion on the actual Triceratops vs. Torosaurus issue.
> Mickey Mortimer
> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 14:50:42 -0700
>> From: qi_leong@hotmail.com
>> To: augustoharo@gmail.com; Dinosaur.Mailing.List@listproc.usc.edu
>> Subject: RE: Titanoceratops, giant ceratopsian from New Mexico
>> Augusto Haro wrote:
>>   The ICZN (or any other Code) lacks anything about "incertae sedis." This 
>> is a bit of wishy-washy nomenclature dreamt up when some authors felt it 
>> easier to flub their contemporaries by subsuming named taxa without using 
>> said nomenclature. If *Torosaurus latus* (the species) is a member of a 
>> clade called *Triceratops*, and we accept that this clade is a genus, there 
>> are only two options: *Torosaurus latus* must be a species OF *Triceratops*, 
>> where A) it is a junior synonym of an established species, or B) is an 
>> additional, unique species alongside other established species.
>>   Note, again, that this argument is strictly nomenclatural. I do not think 
>> the authors have established yet an explicit species concept by which to 
>> compare or evaluate a morphological find (although I suspect, as has been 
>> alluded to, they may in the future).
>> Cheers,
>> Jaime A. Headden
>> The Bite Stuff (site v2)
>> http://qilong.wordpress.com/
>> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
>> "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
>> different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
>> has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
>> his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
>> Backs)
>> ----------------------------------------
>> > Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 15:55:54 -0300
>> > Subject: Re: Titanoceratops, giant ceratopsian from New Mexico
>> > From: augustoharo@gmail.com
>> > To: qi_leong@hotmail.com
>> > CC: df9465@yahoo.co.uk; Dinosaur.Mailing.List@listproc.usc.edu
>> >
>> > 2010/12/31 Jaime Headden :
>> > >
>> > > In short, unless you explicitly synonymize *Torosaurus latus* with a 
>> > > specific taxon, *latus* is a distinct entity and will continue to tromp 
>> > > around; and unless you manage to create a genericometer by which I can 
>> > > determine that only one GENUS is really present, along with a method to 
>> > > determine -- scientifically, mind -- that only two species are present, 
>> > > I may still have leisure to call *latus* by a name other than 
>> > > *Triceratops*, and the synonymy argued by Scannella and Horner is 
>> > > meaningless.
>> > >
>> > But, in case you cannot refer Torosaurus latus to either Triceratops
>> > prorsus or T. horridus (suppose you cannot differentiate the old
>> > adults of these two, perhaps because of lack of old adults in one),
>> > there is also the theoretical possibility you can refer it to
>> > Triceratops as incertae sedis. This would hold in case you cannot find
>> > distinctions which are not ontogenetic with the previously accepted
>> > Triceratops species (although one may suppose that if there are
>> > non-ontogenetic differences between the Triceratops species,
>> > Torosaurus would have to -specially- resemble one of these species
>> > more than the other), and you want to keep the genus Triceratops for
>> > the two mentioned species.