Cetiosaurus Owen, 1841 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda): proposed conservation of usage by designation of Cetiosaurus oxoniensis Phillips, 1871 as the type species

31st March 2009

Paul Upchurch
Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, U.K. (e-mail: <p.upchurch@ucl.ac.uk>)

John Martin
6 The Nook, Great Glen, Leicester LE8 9GQ, U.K. (e-mail: <Johnmartin424@aol.com>)

Michael P. Taylor
Palaeobiology Research Group, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Burnaby Building, Burnaby Road, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, PO1 3QL, U.K. (e-mail: <dino@miketaylor.org.uk>)

Abstract. The purpose of this application, under Article 81.1 of the Code, is to preserve stability in the taxonomy of sauropod dinosaurs by designating Cetiosaurus oxoniensis as the type species of Cetiosaurus. The genus Cetiosaurus (including the species C. medius and C. oxoniensis) was established during the earliest period of research on sauropod dinosaurs, and is historically significant. The name Cetiosaurus was fixed to the type species Cetiosaurus medius, a sauropod of indeterminate affinities; however, the fragmentary nature of the type material of C. medius, combined with the subsequent description of much more complete Middle Jurassic sauropod material as Cetiosaurus oxoniensis, has meant that subsequent literature has overwhelmingly adopted C. oxoniensis over C. medius as the primary exemplar of Cetiosaurus. Stability would be best served by designating Cetiosaurus oxoniensis as the type species of the genus Cetiosaurus in place of the current type species, C. medius.


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