The organization of taxon entries is arranged as follows. Not all features are implemented yet, but should be gradually added to the various taxa.
Definition- preferred phylogenetic definition of clade (original authorship of definition)
Other definitions- alternate phylogenetic definitions of clade
= Synonymous clade authorship
Definition- preferred definition of synonymous clade
Other definitions- alternate phylogenetic definitions of synonymous clade
= Synonymous genus authorship
pr= Probably synonymous genus authorship
po= Possibly synonymous genus authorship
G. species authorship
= Synonymous species authorship
pr= Probably synonymous species authorship
po= Possibly synonymous species authorship
Formation, State/Province, Country
Holotype- (holotype specimen number; nickname; = previous specimen number(s) of holotype) (total length; mass; ontogenetic stage) known element (length of element)
Paratype- (paratype specimen number which by definition are specimens noted in the original description)
Referred- (referred specimen number)
.........(referred specimen number belonging to same individual as above)
(referred specimen number of different individual)
?(questionably referred specimen number)
Diagnosis- apomorphy; apomorphy.
Other diagnoses- Discussion of apomorphies suggested by other authors which I do not accept as valid. Each is only discussed once, under the author who first proposed it.
Description- Morphological description of taxon.
Comments- Non-morphological data. Features to be eventually included in all entries are- date of first discovery; rationale for length and mass estimates; rationale for ontogenetic assignments; general history of study; history of classification with discussion of reasons for referring it to different clades; list of specimens incorrectly referred to the taxon by other authors; discussion of synonymous taxa; discussion of proposed phylogenetic definitions. These are often broken into their own sections.
References- Chronological list of pertinent references.
Nomina dubia (taxa which cannot be distinguished from two or more valid
taxa) are not distinguished, except in the description or comments, because
they are subjective and may be found to be valid after further work.
Nomina nuda (taxa which are not valid due breaking one or more articles of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature [ICZN]) are distinguished by quotation marks and non-italicized print. This website is not an organ for formal taxonomic purposes, and thus any details contained about nomina nuda do not in any way serve to validate them.
Misspellings are not noted, unless pertaining to a nomen nudum (which have no official spelling).
Names that only appear in dissertations are not used out of respect for the author unless the taxon has been subsequently named in the ICZN acceptable literature.
For a preoccupied name (that was already in use for another animal), the original author and date that preoccupy the name in question are given after said name, author and date, as in "Laelaps Cope, 1866 (preoccupied Koch, 1835)".
For an emmended name (that was formed incorrectly so had to be changed in accordance with the ICZN), the emmending author and date are given after the original name's author and date, as in "Utahraptor ostrommaysorum Kirkland, Gaston and Burge, 1993 emmend. Olshevsky, 2000".
Some names were attributed to authors other than those who are credited for the paper, and in this case the term vide is used. For instance, Chure and McIntosh (1989) were the first to publish the name "Daptosaurus" that they credited to Brown (who came up with it decades earlier). Thus the notation is ""Daptosaurus" Brown vide Chure and McIntosh, 1989".
For unnamed specimens, "unnamed" refers to a specimen described in the literature, while "undescribed" refers to a specimen merely mentioned in passing in the literature. Either of these may be followed by a clade name (eg. Theropoda) or an informal version of that name (eg. theropod). "Undescribed theropod" would refer to a single taxon, whereas "undescribed Theropoda" refers to multiple possibly non-conspecific specimens.
The authorship of unnamed specimens is somewhat subjective, but is generally the first author to mention the specimen, or the author of the most detailed and/or recent description of the specimen.
Clade definitions are modified to be congruent with the Phylocode, but are abbreviated as follows-
(Alpha <- Beta) = "the clade consisting of Alpha and all organisms or species that share a more recent common ancestor with Alpha than with Beta".
(Alpha + Beta) = "the clade stemming from the most recent common ancestor of Alpha and Beta".
(apomorphy as in Alpha) = "The clade stemming from the first ancestor of Alpha to exhibit the noted apomorphy homologous to the condition in Alpha".
Modifying published definitions to be congruent with Phylocode almost always implies a supraspecific specifier was changed to a species specifier, so (Allosauridae <- Aves) might be changed to (Allosaurus fragilis <- Passer domesticus). This is usually an objective practice, as the eponymous genus and its type species are used. The exception is when the specifier was originally Avialae or a subgroup (Ornithurae, Aves, Neornithes, etc.), where no eponym exists and both Passer domesticus and Vultur gryphus have been suggested as avian specifiers. I've used Passer domesticus (as it is the eponym of the largest avian clade) except in cases where Vultur gryphus was originally used in the definition (generally by Gauthier and Clarke; since it was the first avian species listed by Linnaeus).
No definitions are official until January 1, 200n, and I've been somewhat subjective while choosing which to use. I follow priority, but also ensure definitions use type species of eponymous genera which were part of the clade when it was originally conceived. Occasionally, no acceptable definition has been published, and in these cases a suggested definition is supplied.
I also indicate where clades would go IF they had the definitions which I don't use. In this case, the clade name is not bolded and it is listed as "sensu" the author of that particular definition.
Undefined family-level clade names are subjectively synonymized with defined or valid clade names of the same Linnaean rank.
Other undefined eponymous clade names are placed directly above their genus, as they provisionally have the same content.
Some data is referenced to abbreviated sources. These are-
DML- The Dinosaur Mailing List, whose archives can be read here - http://www.cmnh.org/dinoarch/index.html .
TOL online- The Tree of Life Web Project.
AMNH online- The online specimen catalog of the American Museum of Natural History.
MOR online- The online specimen catalog of the Museum of the Rockies.
UCMP online - The online specimen catalog of the University of California Museum of Paleontology.
YPM online- The online specimen catalog of the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
ZPAL online - The online specimen catalog of the Institute of Paleobiology Polish Academy of Sciences.