|So it's not really surprising that I came up with a post on subtle nuances of the nomenclature of Champsosaurus.|
With slightly over a year of the database being live, what has changed? Let's go to the Updates worksheet. One thing I really like about the Wiki model is the preservation of page history, and I decided that I would try to replicate this in spirit with the Updates by recording changes to classification, formations, timing, etc., instead of just additions and removals. There are 93 entries since the beginning. A quick examination shows the following:
On the growth side of the ledger, 41 names were introduced, either as new species (34) or as reintroductions of old species (7). 34 new names is about on par with a typical year this decade (more so if I also credit it with two names that were not included; see below). Of the new names, the Upper Cretaceous is the clear champ as a source, with only 3 Jurassic species total and 5 Lower Cretaceous species. North America contributed 12 species, Asia contributed 9, South America contributed 8, Europe contributed 4, and Australia contributed 1. The nations were the usual suspects, with Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Thailand being about the most atypical. The US had 7, Argentina 6, and China 5. In any given year since the 1980s these three will usually be in the top 5, so no surprise there. The breakdown is as follows:
14 new theropod species:
This is a little bit of everything, phylogenetically speaking, although 2 ornithomimids (Rativates evadens and Tototlmimus packardensis) is a bit of a quirk.
5 new sauropod species:
As usual, the titanosaurians continue to sweep up. All four of the valid species (Yunxianosaurus hubeinensis turned out to be informal) are from Upper Cretaceous rocks, and three of them are from South America (Lohuecotitan pandafilandi being the exception). Titanosaur dominance will probably not let up anytime in the near future, either.
3 new thyreophoran species:
All three are ankylosaurians, and all three are either based on previously described material or were known informally to the community before naming.
5 new ceratopsian species:
A couple of basal ceratopsians and a few more ceratopsids, although at some point the pendulum is going to swing back to more conservative taxonomy for horned dinosaurs.
7 new ornithopod species:
Remember when the only things between Dryosaurus and duckbills were Camptosaurus, Iguanodon, Muttaburrasaurus, Ouranosaurus, and Probactrosaurus? I kind of miss that. Definitely an area where you can't tell the players without a program.
Almost all of these are dubious species brought back because they weren't diagnostic enough to merit a definitive sinking. The exception is Velocipes guerichi, which had been exiled out of Dinosauria.
On the other hand, 11 names were removed or were not added in the first place. I judged Lepidocheirosaurus natalis a synonym before it could be added, and I withheld Beipiaognathus jii as a chimera; it's not that it wasn't named in a valid way, but that in the absence of a re-analysis of the specimen it is not clear what the "type individual" is, or if the "type individual" belongs to an existing species.
Aoniraptor libertatem into Gualicho shinyae
Becklespinax altispinax into Altispinax dunkeri
Chasmosaurus brevirostris indeterminate within Chasmosaurus
Chasmosaurus kaiseni indeterminate within Chasmosaurus
Lepidocheirosaurus natatalis into Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus
Monoclonius canadensis indeterminate within Chasmosaurus
Stormbergia dangershoeki into Lesothosaurus diagnosticus
Tyrannosaurus lancensis into Tyrannosaurus rex
Spondylosoma absconditum (Schrödinger's archosaur)
Yunxianosaurus hubeinensis (nomen nudum)
1 withheld as a chimera:
There were also three lateral moves, giving new generic names to existing species:
Alcovasaurus longispinus for "Stegosaurus" longispinus
Meroktenos thabanensis for "Melanorosaurus" thabanensis
Or moving a species to another genus:
Uteodon aphanoectes to Camptosaurus
28 other entries dealt with species being moved to different clades. Of the remainder, most were of the "tweaked the age of a formation" or "tweaked geographic/geologic assignments." I made a couple of significant shifts, one of which moved most of the hypsilophodont-grade ornithischians out of Ornithopoda, another that returned them, and one which pulled Megaraptora out of Carnosauria and left them at Avetheropoda until such time as there is consensus on whether or not they are carnosaurians or coelurosaurians.