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mimicry, testability etc.
Tony Canning is right about testability. This does not equate to
provability but to developing hypotheses that state up front exactly
what the evidence is and exactly what is critical to the hypotheses
that can then be addressed towards testing and disproving the hypothesis.
Testability does not mean proven for all time, but that it has yet to
be effectively disproven given the current available data. As such, one
could develop a series of points that must be fulfilled for the mimicry
example to stay tenable. Subsequent data and research can add additional
points, provide data etc to either strengthen or kill hypotheses. It's
been part of an attempt by evolutionary scientists to make their science
more rigorous. That's why phylogenetic hypotheses are testable but certainly
not proven, given the change-ability of cladograms. So Thulborn's paper is
the start of a developing hypothesis that may or may not last. I still
suspect the latter but it should be a fun time.
Virginia Tidwell quite sanely asks why any tank-like dino would like to
look like an iguanodon. Good point, why ask to be attacked. However,
Thulborn's point (and you'd have to see the illustration to realize this)
is that the anky looks like a backward!!!! iguanodon, so the theropod
would go for the butt end (P.T. Barnum call on the house phone) and
not the head end. Still Virginia's point does suggest that it may lower
the percentage of effective attacks but might still raise the number
of total attacks - so what have you got? Yuk.
Ken - what is the best reference (of any) on the articulations of
Larry Boulds mentions the Dino Biblio. It's been mentioned here but I
don't recall it actually being discussed other than as the off-hand
reference. I use it a lot and have to ordewr a second copy for home. I
think they're working on an updat or sequel. I tried to get them to
put the references on a disk long before it was published but had no
luck. I believe the next steps will take care of that following
discussions I had with Dan and Jack.
Dinofest '95 I don't know about. I hear the next Paleo Society one will
be in a few years, according to Wolberg at last years GSA in the PS
The 94 volume, by the way, has a nice short review paper by Karen Chin
of coprolites so its relevant to some recent discussions herein.
I'll try and summarize the contributions to this volume when I get
a chance. It's big and $30 from the Paleo Society - following one
of my previous postings.
Long-windedly yours - Ralph Chapman, NMNH