Nomen conservandum

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(abbreviation ''nom. cons.'', plural ''nomina conservanda'') A ''nomen conservandum'' ('''latin''' for ''"a name that has to be preserved"'') is a name that, under strict application of the appropriate code of [[nomenclature]], should be invalid, but which the relevant commision has decided should be upheld in the interests of stability and communication. This may, for instance, involve the preservation of a well-known name for a taxon rather than its otherwise mandatory replacement with an unfamiliar or poorly-defined senior [[synonym]]. To what extent a name is conserved depends on the case - a name can be universally conserved, so that it takes priority over any non-conserved synonym, whether already known or recognised later, or it may only be conserved relative to the specific name(s) recognised in competition at the time.
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(abbreviation ''nom. cons.'', plural ''nomina conservanda'' ߝ '''latin''' for ''"a name to be preserved"'') A ''nomen conservandum'' is a name that, under strict application of the appropriate code of [[nomenclature]], should be invalid, but which the relevant commision has decided should be upheld in the interests of stability and communication. This may, for instance, involve the preservation of a well-known name for a taxon rather than its otherwise mandatory replacement with an unfamiliar or poorly-defined senior [[synonym]]. To what extent a name is conserved depends on the case - a name can be universally conserved, so that it takes priority over any non-conserved synonym, whether already known or recognised later, or it may only be conserved relative to the specific name(s) recognised in competition at the time.
For instance, the name ''Meganthropus africanus'' was established for a fossil [[Hominidae|hominid]] by Weinert in 1950. Later, this was synonymised with ''Australopithecus afarensis'' Johanson ''et al.'', 1978 within the genus ''Australopithecus''. As there is already an ''Australopithecus africanus'' Dart, 1925, ''A. afarensis'' was the correct name. However, some authors have suggested that ''Australopithecus afarensis'' should be removed from ''Australopithecus'' and placed in the genus ''Praeanthropus''. As the homonymy with ''Australopithecus africanus'' would then be removed, the technically correct name for the species would then be ''Praeanthropus africanus'' (Weinert, 1950). However, a request was made to the [[International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature]] for the '''preservation''' of the species name ''afarensis'' (nomen conservandum) due to its high public profile, and to prevent confusion with the equally well-known ''Australopithecus africanus''. The ICZN upheld this request in 1999, meaning that even when placed in a different genus, ''Australopithecus afarensis'' remains ''afarensis''.
For instance, the name ''Meganthropus africanus'' was established for a fossil [[Hominidae|hominid]] by Weinert in 1950. Later, this was synonymised with ''Australopithecus afarensis'' Johanson ''et al.'', 1978 within the genus ''Australopithecus''. As there is already an ''Australopithecus africanus'' Dart, 1925, ''A. afarensis'' was the correct name. However, some authors have suggested that ''Australopithecus afarensis'' should be removed from ''Australopithecus'' and placed in the genus ''Praeanthropus''. As the homonymy with ''Australopithecus africanus'' would then be removed, the technically correct name for the species would then be ''Praeanthropus africanus'' (Weinert, 1950). However, a request was made to the [[International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature]] for the '''preservation''' of the species name ''afarensis'' (nomen conservandum) due to its high public profile, and to prevent confusion with the equally well-known ''Australopithecus africanus''. The ICZN upheld this request in 1999, meaning that even when placed in a different genus, ''Australopithecus afarensis'' remains ''afarensis''.

Revision as of 11:21, 18 December 2006

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