-ops family names (plus bivalves)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 16 16:31:22 CDT 2002

Dear All,
      Just wanted to thank Margaret for the information on "-ops"-based
family names.  I'm just wondering (outloud) if it wouldn't be helpful for
someone to apply to the ICZN to formally place Ceratopsidae on the official
list of family names, and place Ceratopidae on the official list of rejected
names (and perhaps the same for Protoceratopsidae vs. Protoceratopidae).
     Something to think about I guess.  But then again, many
dinosaurologists are big supporters of PhyloCode, and they might ignore a
ICZN decision anyway.  Like Margaret said, predicting code changes is
difficult, and having a whole new PhyloCode is just going to multiply the
uncertainties.   If only ICZN rulings didn't take so darn long (it took us
over 5 years to get Mesoplodon on the official list of genera).  Makes me
tired just thinking about it.
              ------ Ken
P.S.  By the way, discussions about bivalves and molluscan evolution are
taking place on the "molluscalist" newsgroup through UC-Berkeley.  So I
guess I'll get back to that debate, since the "bivalves-first" hypothesis is
meeting with stiff resistance (no big surprise).    :-)

>From: "Margaret K. Thayer" <mthayer at FIELDMUSEUM.ORG>
>Reply-To: "Margaret K. Thayer" <mthayer at FIELDMUSEUM.ORG>
>Subject: Re: -ops genera and family names
>Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 21:46:15 -0500
>Grammar-based answer:
>The word ops is Greek (eye or face), with its genitive being opos.  Since
>the stem of this is -op-, the horn-faced dinosaurs should be Ceratopidae.
>Newton & Thayer 1992 (Fieldiana, Zoology, N.S. No 67, which includes
>discussions of several sorts of cases like this.) found and corrected a few
>family-group names like this in Coleoptera: Staphyliniformia that had been
>formed incorrectly, although others had been correctly formed.
>ICZN-based answer:
>The current ICZN (4th ed.) has relaxed the use of Latin/Greek grammar
>informing stems for family-group names (see Art. 29), so in the case of
>Ceratops (unless there are issues of avoiding homonymy of family-group
>names) the "prevailing usage" should be maintained, regardless of which
>spelling that is and whether it was the original spelling.  If MOST workers
>are spelling it with the "s", that version would "win" under the code now
>in effect.
>If the now-current Code had been in effect at the time, some of the
>corrections we made in our 1992 paper would not have been needed.  Some
>ideas in this area were under discussion at the time for inclusion in the
>next edition of the Code, but since there was no way to predict reliably
>what proposed changes would actually become part of the Code, we had no
>choice but to follow the then-current one (3rd ed.)
>Margaret Thayer
>(no Code Warrior, just a Latin/Greek semi-geek)
>At 01:30 AM 15-08-02 +0000, Ken Kinman wrote:
>>Dear Code Warriors:
>>      Most workers are used to spelling it Ceratopsidae, but there are
>>who insist that it has to be Ceratopidae (without the "s").
>Margaret K. Thayer              mthayer at fieldmuseum.org
>Assistant Curator, Zoology, and Head, Division of Insects
>     http://fm1.fmnh.org/aa/staff_page.cgi?staff=thayer
>Field Museum of Natural History       http://www.fieldmuseum.org
>1400 South Lake Shore Drive
>Chicago IL 60605-2496, USA
>PHONE: +1-312-665-7741 (direct-dial)
>FAX: +1-312-665-7754

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