The Phylogenetic Taxonomy of Diplodocoidea (Dinosauria: Sauropoda)

3rd October 2005

Michael P. Taylor and Darren Naish
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 3QL, UK
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Despite some continuing controversies, sauropod phylogeny is now the subject of broad agreement. Against this backdrop of relatively stable phylogenetic hypotheses, however, the nomenclature of the sauropod clade that includes Diplodocus and its relatives remains confused. Not all of the named groups within this clade have suitable phylogenetic definitions; others have multiple names; and some names have multiple conflicting definitions. We survey the taxonomic history of this clade, consider the suitability for phylogenetic taxonomy of various candidate definitions from the literature, and discuss some sources of confusion. Finally, we recommend ``best practice'' in the use of the relevant clade names.


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