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It is on the question of description that a certain amount of difference of opinion exists. From the codes of the Associations for the Advancement of Science, and of the Zoological Congresses, no difference of opinion can be inferred, but the practice of a number of naturalists both zoologists and paleontologists in America, and paleontologists in Europe, is not in accord with the rule requiring definition of all groups above species. It has always appeared to me remarkable that a rule of such self evident necessity should not meet with universal adoption. However, the objections to it, such as they are, I will briefly consider. It is alleged that the definitions when first given are more or less imperfect, and have to be subsequently amended, hence it is argued they have no authority. However, the first definitions, if drawn up with reference to the principles enumerated in the first part of this address, need not be imperfect. Also an old time diagnosis of a division which we have subsequently found it necessary to divide, is not imperfect on that account alone, but it may be and often is, the definition of a higher group. But you are familiar with all this class of objections, and the answers to them, so I will refer only to the positive reasons which have induced the majority of naturalists to adhere to the rule.
It is self evident that so soon as we abandon definitions for words, we have left science and have gone into a kind of literature. In pursuing such a course we load ourselves with rubbish, and place ourselves in a position to have more of it placed upon us. The load of necessary names is quite sufficient, and we must have a reason for every one of them, in order to feel that it is necessary to carry it. Next, it is essential that every line of scientific writing should be intelligible. A man should be required to give a sufficient reason for everything that he does in science. Thus much on behalf of clearness and precision. There is another aspect of the case which is ethical. I am aware that some students do not think that ethical considerations should enter into scientific work. To this I answer that I do not know of any field of human labor into which ethical considerations do not necessarily enter. The reasons for sustaining the law of priority are partly
ethical, for we instinctively wish to see every man credited with his own work, and not some other man. The law of priority in nomenclature goes no further in this direction than the nature of each case requires. Nomenclature may be an index of much meritorious work, or it may represent comparatively little work; but it is to the interest of all of us that it be not used to sustain a false pretence of work that has not been done at all. By insisting on this essential test of honest intentions we retain the taxonomic and phylogenetic work within the circle of a class of men who are competent to it, and cease to hold out rewards to picture makers and cataloguers.
Another contention of some of the nomenclators who use systematic names proposed without description, is, that the spelling in which they were first printed must not be corrected if they contain orthographical and typographical errors. That this view should be sustained by men who have not had the advantage of a classical education, might not be surprising, although one would think they would prefer to avoid publicly displaying the fact, and would be willing to travel some distance in order to find some person who could help them in the matter of spelling. But when well educated men support such a doctrine, one feels that they have created out of the law of priority a fetish which they worship with a devotion quite too narrow. The form of our nomenclature being Latin, the rules of Latin orthography and grammar are as incumbent on us to observe, as are the corresponding rules of English grammar in our ordinary speech. This cult so far as I know, exists only in the United States and among certain members of the American Ornithologists Union. The preservation of names which their authors never defined ; of names which their proposers misspelled; of names from the Greek in Greek instead of Latin form ; of English hyphens in Latin composition; and of hybrid combinations of Greek and Latin, are objects hardly worth contending for. Some few authors are quite independent of rules in the use of gender terminations, but I notice the A. O. U. requires these to be printed correctly. Apart from this I notice in the second edition of their check list of North American Birds just issued, only eighteen misspellings out of a total number of 768 specific and subspecific names, and the generic and other names accompanying. These are of course not due to ignorance on the part of the members of this body, some of whom are distinguished for scholarship, but because of an extreme view of the law of priority.
In closing I wish to utter a plea for euphony and brevity in the construction of names. In some quarters the making of such names is an unknown art. The simple and appropriate names of Linneus and Cuvier can be still duplicated if students would look into the matter. A great number of such names can be devised by the use of significant Greek prefixes attached to substantiatives which may or may not have been often used. Personal names in Greek have much significance, and they are generally short and euphonious. propriated wealth in this direction is so great that there is really no necessity for poverty in this direction. It should be rarely necessary, for instance, to construct generic names by adding prefixes and suffixes of no meaning to a standard generic name already in use.
SOME LOCALITIES FOR LARAMIE MAMMALS AND
By J. B. HATCHER.
It is the purpose of this paper to give brief but accurate descriptions of the localities for the most important and best preserved specimens of Laramie mammals and horned and other dinosaurs collected by the writer for the U.S. Geological Survey, and now carefully stored in the Yale Museum at New Haven; with a map of the most important locality at present known and suggestions to collectors visiting this, or other localities as to the most promising places and best methods to be employed in order to attain the greatest degree of success.
History of the Discovery of Laramie Horned Dinosaurs.
As early as 1872, Professor Cope' described under the name of Agathaumas sylvestre a portion of the skeleton of a horned dinosaur from Laramie beds near Black Butte in southwestern Wyoming In various publications from 1874–1877 which appeared in THE AMERICAN NATURALIST, Proceedings Philadelphia Academy Sciences and Bulletins of the U. S. Geological Survey, Cope has added much to our knowledge of these strange forms, chiefly from material collected by himself and Mr. Charles H. Sternberg from the vicinity of Cow Island on the upper Missouri River in Montana.
In 1887 a new locality for horned dinosaurs was found near Denver, Colorado, by Mr. George L. Cannon. The most important specimen, consisting of a pair of horn cores, was sent to Professor Marsh for identification and description. They were not characteristic, and owing to their striking resemblance to the horns of certain fossil Bisons, they were referred by Marsh to that genus and described under the name of Bison alticornis ; the beds in which they were found being referred to late Pliocene and denominated the Bison beds."
In 1888 the writer secured in the same locality in which Cope had operated in 1875 and 1876 on the upper Missouri, parts of several skulls of a horned dinosaur, some of which Marsh has described, creating for them a new genus Ceratops, and several new species. A comparison of the types of Cope's Monoclonius recurvicornis and Marsh's Ceratops montanus, both from the same locality in Montana, would doubtless establish the generic identity of the two.
Not until 1889 was a locality found where remains of these animals were sufficiently abundant and well preserved to afford material which would give us an adequate idea of their structure and habits. In the fall of 1888 the writer's attention was called to a pair of horncores belonging to Mr. C. A. Guernsey, of Douglas, Wyoming. Upon inquiry it was learned that they had been taken from a huge skull found by Mr. E. B. Wilson ? Proc. Am. Phil. Soc., 1872, p. 482. See notice of new Fossil Mammals, Am. Jour. Sci., Oct., 1887.
on Buck Creek, some of 35 miles north of Lusk, Wyoming.
At present remains of horned dinosaurs are known from only
There are other localities known to the writer, but they are as yet of minor importance, since little collecting has been done in them and no material has been described from them. They will be referred to later.
The Ceratops Beds.
In the American Journal of Science for December, 1889, Professor Marsh applied the name Ceratops beds to certain strata in the west from which horned dinosaurs had been secured. He did not then, nor has he at any time since, designated just what he considered the geographical distribution of these beds nor their upper and lower delimitations in the geological scale. In order that the reader may not be misled in regard to Professor Marsh's position on this question I will quote him some