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Tyrannosaurus


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Author Topic: Tyrannosaurus  (Read 3301 times)
Manetho
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« on: July 23, 2007, 01:30:02 pm »

Manospondylus controversy

The first fossil specimen which can be attributed to Tyrannosaurus rex consists of two partial vertebrae (one of which has been lost) found by Edward Drinker Cope in 1892 and described as Manospondylus gigas. Osborn recognized the similarity between M. gigas and T. rex as early as 1917 but, due to the fragmentary nature of the Manospondylus vertebrae, he could not synonymize them conclusively.[24]

Controversy erupted in June 2000 after the Black Hills Institute located the type locality of M. gigas in South Dakota and unearthed more tyrannosaur bones there. These were judged to represent further remains of the same individual, and to be identical to those of T. rex. According to the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), the system that governs the scientific naming of animals, Manospondylus gigas should therefore have priority over Tyrannosaurus rex, because it was named first.[25] However, the Fourth Edition of the ICZN, which took effect on January 1, 2000, states that "the prevailing usage must be maintained" when "the senior synonym or homonym has not been used as a valid name after 1899" and "the junior synonym or homonym has been used for a particular taxon, as its presumed valid name, in at least 25 works, published by at least 10 authors in the immediately preceding 50 years..."[26] Tyrannosaurus rex easily qualifies as the valid name under these conditions and would most likely be considered a nomen protectum ("protected name") under the ICZN if it was ever challenged, which it has not yet been. Manospondylus gigas would then be deemed a nomen oblitum ("forgotten name").


Paleobiology

As with all dinosaurs known only from the fossil record, much of Tyrannosaurus biology, including behavior, coloration, ecology, and physiology, remains unknown. However, many new specimens have been discovered in the last twenty years, which has allowed some informed speculation on growth patterns, sexual dimorphism, biomechanics, and metabolism.

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