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> I think that you will find that the antlers of some deer could take an
> eye out, yet they still butt heads.  Goats and antelopes too.
> Neil Clark

The antlers of deer are designed to interlock, keeping the tips far away from
eyes. This is very different from the nose horns and pointed eyebrow ridges of
ceratosaurs and carnosaurs, which is like rhinoceroses butting heads!

>for every 10 good dinosaur names published in the literature,
>there are nine more bad dinosaur names. Thus, a warning was
>issued: New dinosaurs should not be described and named based on
>a single bone or tooth. Yet this is a practice still in use
>today. This is bad science and only obscures the literature.
> Douglas E. Goudie

I was amazed by reading _THE_DINOSAURIA_. I saw so many genus names listed in
popular books that _THE_DINOSAURIA_ listed as nomina dubia. Often these
genuses (genera?) were named from the discovery of a single vertebra or tooth.
Of those specimens that were named from at least a 10% complete skeleton, they
often had about 10 synonymous names. What would happen is that someone would
look at eg. a foot, and determine that it was a new species of Apatosaur, and
name it appropriately. Then someone else would look at the same fossil, and
decide that it was a Diplodocus, and rename the species such. Still another
person would have named a species of Camarasaurus based on only a skull. Then
a more complete skeleton would show up that showed that the foot and skull that
had been identified as seperate species actually belong to the same species.
This is a hypothetical example, but it shows how this happens. You'd be
surprised how many species have been named on the existence of a single tooth!
There are about a dozen named species of Megalosaurus. It may be that none of
them are valid. Yet Megalosaurus is often portrayed in popular dinosaur books.
I think that the popular books should make some emphasis of just how incomplete
some of the type specimens are. I had always assumed that when a species was
described (and even pictured!) in a popular book, that is was based on at least
one almost complete skeleton.

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer