A holotype is a single physical example (or illustration) of an organism, known to have been used when the species (or lower-ranked taxon) was formally described. It is either the single such physical example (or illustration) or one of several such, but explicitly designated as the holotype. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), a holotype is one of several kinds of name-bearing types. In the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) and ICZN the definitions of types are similar in intent but not identical in terminology or underlying concept.
For example, the holotype for the butterfly Lycaeides idas longinus is a preserved specimen of that species, held by the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. An isotype is a duplicate of the holotype and is often made for plants, where holotype and isotypes are often pieces from the same individual plant or samples from the same gathering.
A holotype is not necessarily "typical" of that taxon, although ideally it should be. Sometimes just a fragment of an organism is the holotype, particularly in the case of a fossil. For example, the holotype of Pelorosaurus humerocristatus (Duriatitan), a large herbivorous dinosaur from the early Jurassic period, is a fossil leg bone stored at the Natural History Museum in London. Even if a better specimen is subsequently found, the holotype is not superseded.
Under the ICN, an additional and clarifying type could be designated an epitype under Article 9.8, where the original material is demonstrably ambiguous or insufficient.
A conserved type (ICN article 14.3) is sometimes used to correct a problem with a name which has been misapplied; this specimen replaces the original holotype.
For example, in both the ICN and the ICZN a neotype is a type that was later appointed in the absence of the original holotype. Additionally, under the ICZN the Commission is empowered to replace a holotype with a neotype, when the holotype turns out to lack important diagnostic features needed to distinguish the species from its close relatives. For example, the crocodile-like archosaurian reptile Parasuchus hislopi Lydekker, 1885 was described based on a premaxillary rostrum (part of the snout), but this is no longer sufficient to distinguish Parasuchus from its close relatives. This made the name Parasuchus hislopi a nomen dubium. Texan paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee proposed that a new type specimen, a complete skeleton, be designated. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature considered the case and agreed to replace the original type specimen with the proposed neotype.
The procedures for the designation of a new type specimen when the original is lost come into play for some recent, high-profile species descriptions in which the specimen designated as the holotype was a living individual that was allowed to remain in the wild (e.g. a new species of capuchin monkey, genus Cebus, Marleyimyia xylocopae, or the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala). In such a case, there is no actual type specimen available for study, and the possibility exists that—should there be any perceived ambiguity in the identity of the species—subsequent authors can invoke various clauses in the ICZN Code that allow for the designation of a neotype. Article 75.3.7 of the ICZN requires that the designation of a neotype must be accompanied by "a statement that the neotype is, or immediately upon publication has become, the property of a recognized scientific or educational institution, cited by name, that maintains a research collection, with proper facilities for preserving name-bearing types, and that makes them accessible for study", but there is no such requirement for a holotype.
Amblydactylus is an ichnogenus that has been attributed to dinosaurs. The generic name, derived from the Greek words amblys and dáktylos, means "dull finger". Two species of Amlydactylus have been named: A. gethingi, which references the Gething Formation where it was found; and A. kortmeyeri, which honours Carl Kortmeyer who discovered the holotype.Asymbolus funebris
The blotched catshark (Asymbolus funebris) is a catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae, the only specimen, the holotype, being found off West Australia at 144 m. Its length is 44 cm and its reproduction is oviparous.Atacamatitan
Atacamatitan (meaning "Atacama Desert titan") is a genus of sauropod dinosaur. It is a titanosaur which lived during the late Cretaceous in what is now northern Chile. It is known from the holotype SGO-PV-961, which includes two dorsal vertebrae, caudal vertebrae, ribs, a possible sternum, part of an upper arm, the right femur, and unidentified incomplete bones. This specimen was found in the Tolar Formation. The discovery locality is near Conchi Viejo town, Atacama Desert in Antofagasta Region. It was named by Alexander W.A. Kellner, David Rubilar-Rogers, Alexander Vargas and Mario Suárez in 2011 and the type species is Atacamatitan chilensis. The specific epithet chilensis refers to Chile.Broadhead catshark
The broadhead catshark (Bythaelurus clevai) is a catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae. The only specimen, the holotype, was found off Madagascar at a depth between 425 and 500 m.Cathetosaurus
Cathetosaurus is a dinosaur sauropod genus that contains one species: Cathetosaurus lewisi that was thought to be within the genus Camarasaurus. The holotype specimen was originally described by James Jensen and is now in the Brigham Young University collection.Crocidura kegoensis
Crocidura kegoensis, also known as the Ke Go shrew or Ke Go white-toothed shrew, is a species of shrew in the genus Crocidura described in 2004. It is smaller than other Crocidura species known from Vietnam, brownish-grey in colour with black markings on the muzzle. Its hair is short (hair on the back of 1.5 mm and 1.0 mm on the underside). The holotype was found in the Ke Go Nature Reserve, in Vietnam's Ha Tinh province, at an altitude of about 200 m.The holotype measurements are given below, all of which make it the smallest described Vietnamese species in its genus.
Head-body length 48 mm
Tail length 27 mm
Hind-foot Length 10 mm
Ear length 5mmDashanpusaurus
Dashanpusaurus (meaning "Dashanpu lizard" after the township it was discovered in) is an extinct genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived during the middle of the Jurassic period. The dinosaur was described in 2005 by a group of Chinese paleontologists. The dinosaur's binomial name, Dashanpusaurus dongi, was named after a dinosaur expert of the Dashanpu area, Dong Zhiming.Dashanpusaurus was a herbivore and was quadrupedal, like most others in the Sauropoda. The Dashanpusaurus holotype, ZDM 5028, a partial skeleton lacking the skull, was unearthed in the Sichuan, China township of Dashanpu, in a Jurassic formation called the Shaximiao Formation, which in turn is part of the larger Dashanpu Formation. Dashanpu is only seven kilometres from Zigong, the city where the dinosaur's remains are being held. It consisted of many bone fragments and vertebrae, as well as a partial pelvis and other hind pieces. Other than the dinosaur's holotype, numerous other Dashanpusaurus specimens have been recovered from the area among which the paratype ZDM 5027, another partial skeleton.Diamantinasaurus
Diamantinasaurus is an extinct genus of non-lithostrotian titanosaurian sauropod from Australia that lived during the early Late Cretaceous, about 94 million years ago. The type species of the genus is D. matildae, first described and named in 2009 by Scott Hocknull and colleagues. Meaning "Diamantina lizard", the name is derived from the location of the nearby Diamantina River and the Greek word sauros, "lizard". The specific epithet is from the Australian song Waltzing Matilda, also the locality of the holotype and paratype. The known skeleton includes most of the forelimb, shoulder girdle, pelvis, hindlimb and ribs of the holotype, and one shoulder bone, a radius and some vertebrae of the paratype.Dilophosaurus
Dilophosaurus ( dy-LOHF-o-SOR-əs) is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now North America during the Early Jurassic, about 193 million years ago. Three skeletons were discovered in northern Arizona in 1940, and the two best preserved were collected in 1942. The most complete specimen became the holotype of a new species in the genus Megalosaurus, named M. wetherilli by Samuel P. Welles in 1954. Welles found a larger skeleton belonging to the same species in 1964. Realizing it bore crests on its skull, he assigned the species to the new genus Dilophosaurus in 1970, as Dilophosaurus wetherilli. The genus name means "two-crested lizard", and the species name honors John Wetherill, a Navajo councilor. Further specimens have since been found, including an infant. Footprints have also been attributed to the animal, including resting traces. Another species, Dilophosaurus sinensis from China, was named in 1993, but was later found to belong to the genus Sinosaurus.
At about 7 meters (23 ft) in length, with a weight of about 400 kilograms (880 lb), Dilophosaurus was one of the earliest large predatory dinosaurs, though it was smaller than some later theropods. It was slender and lightly built, and the skull was proportionally large, but delicate. The snout was narrow, and the upper jaw had a gap or kink below the nostril. It had a pair of longitudinal, plate-shaped crests on its skull, similar to a cassowary with two crests. The mandible was slender and delicate at the front, but deep at the back. The teeth were long, curved, thin, and compressed sideways. Those in the lower jaw were much smaller than those of the upper jaw. Most of the teeth had serrations at their front and back edges. The neck was long, and its vertebrae were hollow, and very light. The arms were powerful, with a long and slender upper arm bone. The hands had four fingers: the first was short but strong and bore a large claw, the two following fingers were longer and slenderer with smaller claws, and the fourth was vestigial. The thigh bone was massive, the feet were stout, and the toes bore large claws.
Dilophosaurus is a member of the family Dilophosauridae along with Dracovenator, a group placed between the Coelophysidae and later theropods. Dilophosaurus would have been active and bipedal, and may have hunted large animals; it could also have fed on smaller animals and fish. Due to the limited range of movement and shortness of the forelimbs, the mouth may instead have made first contact with prey. The function of the crests is unknown; they were too weak for battle, but may have been used in visual display, such as species recognition and sexual selection. It may have grown rapidly, attaining a growth rate of 30 to 35 kilograms (66 to 77 lb) per year early in life. The holotype specimen had multiple paleopathologies, including healed injuries and signs of a developmental anomaly. Dilophosaurus is known from the Kayenta Formation, and lived alongside dinosaurs such as Megapnosaurus and Sarahsaurus. Dilophosaurus was featured in the novel Jurassic Park and its movie adaptation, wherein it was given the fictional abilities to spit venom and expand a cowl on its neck, as well as being smaller than the real animal. It was designated as the state dinosaur of Connecticut in 2017.Gargoyleosaurus
Gargoyleosaurus (meaning "gargoyle lizard") is one of the earliest ankylosaurs known from reasonably complete fossil remains. Its skull measures 29 centimetres (11 in) in length, and its total body length is an estimated 3 to 4 metres (9.8 to 13.1 ft). It may have weighed as much as 1 tonne (2,200 lb). The holotype was discovered at the Bone Cabin Quarry West locality, in Albany County, Wyoming in exposures of the Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian stages) Morrison Formation.The type species, G. parkpinorum (originally G. parkpini) was described by Ken Carpenter et al. in 1998. A mounted skeletal reconstruction of Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum can be seen at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Gargoyleosaurus was present in stratigraphic zone 2 of the Morrison Formation.Giganotosaurus
Giganotosaurus ( JY-gə-NOH-tə-SOR-əs) is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now Argentina, during the early Cenomanian age of the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 98 to 97 million years ago. The holotype specimen was discovered in the Candeleros Formation of Patagonia in 1993, and is almost 70% complete. The animal was named Giganotosaurus carolinii in 1995; the genus name translates as "giant southern lizard" and the specific name honours the discoverer, Rubén D. Carolini. A dentary bone, a tooth and some tracks, discovered before the holotype, were later assigned to this animal. The genus attracted much interest and became part of a scientific debate about the maximum sizes of theropod dinosaurs.
Giganotosaurus was one of the largest known terrestrial carnivores, but the exact size has been hard to determine due to the incompleteness of the remains found so far. Estimates for the most complete specimen range from a length of 12 to 13 m (39 to 43 ft), a skull 1.53 to 1.80 m (5.0 to 5.9 ft) in length, and a weight of 4.2 to 13.8 t (4.6 to 15.2 short tons). The dentary bone that belonged to a supposedly larger individual has been used to extrapolate a length of 13.2 m (43 ft). Some researchers have found the animal to be larger than Tyrannosaurus, which has historically been considered the largest theropod, while others have found them to be roughly equal in size, and the largest size estimates for Giganotosaurus exaggerated. The skull was low, with rugose (rough and wrinkled) nasal bones and a ridge-like crest on the lacrimal bone in front of the eye. The front of the lower jaw was flattened, and had a downwards projecting process (or "chin") at the tip. The teeth were compressed sideways and had serrations. The neck was strong and the pectoral girdle proportionally small.
Part of the family Carcharodontosauridae, Giganotosaurus is one of the most completely known members of the group, which includes other very large theropods, such as the closely related Mapusaurus and Carcharodontosaurus. Giganotosaurus is thought to have been homeothermic (a type of "warm-bloodedness"), with a metabolism between that of a mammal and a reptile, which would have enabled fast growth. It may have been relatively fast moving, with a calculated maximal running speed of 14 metres per second (50 km/h; 31 mph). It would have been capable of closing its jaws quickly, capturing and bringing down prey by delivering powerful bites. The "chin" may have helped in resisting stress when a bite was delivered against prey. Giganotosaurus is thought to have been the apex predator of its ecosystem, and it may have fed on juvenile sauropod dinosaurs.Lophorhothon
Lophorhothon (Langston, 1960) is a genus of hadrosauroid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous, the first genus of dinosaur discovered in Alabama, in the United States.Nambalia
Nambalia is a genus of basal sauropodomorph dinosaur. It lived during the Late Triassic period (late Norian to earliest Rhaetian) in what is now Andhra Pradesh, central India. It is known from the holotype ISI R273, parts 1-3, partially articulated postcranial material and from the paratypes ISI R273, parts 4-29, including partial postcrania of at least two individuals of different sizes found closely associated and one of them is nearly the same size as the
holotype. ISI R273 was discovered and collected from the Upper Maleri Formation within the Pranhita–Godavari Basin,
north of Nambal village. It was first named by Fernando E. Novas, Martin D. Ezcurra, Sankar Chatterjee and T. S. Kutty in 2011 and the type species is Nambalia roychowdhurii. The generic name is derived from the Indian village of Nambal which is close to the type locality. The specific name honors Dr. Roy Chowdhuri, for his research on the Triassic vertebrate faunas of India. A cladistic analysis by Novas et al. found that Nambalia is basal to Efraasia, Plateosauravus, Ruehleia and Plateosauria, but more derived than Thecodontosaurus, Pantydraco, and Guaibasauridae. Nambalia was found along with the plateosaurid Jaklapallisaurus, a guaibasaurid, and two basal dinosauriforms.Pale catshark
The pale catshark (Apristurus sibogae) is a rare catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae. The holotype,the only specimen, was found on the Makassar Strait slope at a depth of 655 m. Its length is around 21 cm, although this measurement was taken from a juvenile specimen. The reproduction of the pale catshark is oviparous.Panamericansaurus
Panamericansaurus is a genus of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now South America. It is very similar to the closely related Aeolosaurus, differing only in details of the vertebrae.
The type species Panamericansaurus schroederi was named and described by Jorge Orlando Calvo and Juan Domingo Porfiri in 2010. The generic name refers to the Pan American Energy company which financially supported the paleontological investigations. The specific name honours the Schroeder family on whose land the remains were found. The describers placed Panamericansaurus in a clade within the Titanosauridae, the Aeolosaurini, of which also Aeolosaurus and Gondwanatitan are members.
The holotype MUCPv-417 was in June 2003 found near San Patricio del Chañar, in Neuquén in a layer of the Allen Formation dating from the Campanian-Maastrichtian. It consists of five tail vertebrae, a sacral vertebra, a left humerus, haemal arches and rib fragments. The humerus is 123 centimetres long. The total length of the holotype individual was estimated at eleven metres.Paratype
In zoology and botany, a paratype is a specimen of an organism that helps define what the scientific name of a species and other taxon actually represents, but it is not the holotype (and in botany is also neither an isotype nor a syntype). Often there is more than one paratype. Paratypes are usually held in museum research collections.
The exact meaning of the term paratype when it is used in zoology is not the same as the meaning when it is used in botany. In both cases however, this term is used in conjunction with holotype.Platyognathus
Platyognathus is an extinct genus of protosuchian crocodylomorph. Fossils are known from the Early Jurassic Lower Lufeng Formation in Yunnan, China and belong to the type and only species, P. hsui.South China catshark
The South China catshark (Apristurus sinensis) is a catshark of the family Scyliorhinidae, known only from the holotype, which was taken from the South China Sea at a depth of 537 m. Its length is 42 cm, but this measurement was taken from an immature specimen. The reproduction of the South China catshark is oviparous.Type (biology)
In biology, a type is a particular specimen (or in some cases a group of specimens) of an organism to which the scientific name of that organism is formally attached. In other words, a type is an example that serves to anchor or centralize the defining features of that particular taxon. In older usage (pre-1900 in botany), a type was a taxon rather than a specimen.A taxon is a scientifically named grouping of organisms with other like organisms, a set that includes some organisms and excludes others, based on a detailed published description (for example a species description) and on the provision of type material, which is usually available to scientists for examination in a major museum research collection, or similar institution.