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Re: Therizinosaurus



In a message dated 95-09-28 14:52:27 EDT, RaptorRKC@aol.com writes:

>Therizinosaurus?  I recall that there was evidence that _Therizinosaurus_
>isn't a theropod at all.  Some say, and I trust, that Therizinosaurus is
>really an herbivorous segnosaur, a late-surviving relative of the
>sauropodomorpha.  Those claws did not really look like they were suited for
>killing; I don't think the claws were really THAT sharp and efficient.  More
>or less, like the iguanodont spike-thumb, Therizinosaurus's claws, if it was
>indeed a segnosaur, were probably for defense against predators...
>
>Then again, I may be wrong.
>
>

Right. Don't let the cladists fool you: They're nowhere near establishing
segnosaurs as theropods; the closer you scrutinize their supposed
"synapomorphies," the more unlikely these features-as-synapomorphies seem.

Let me quote someone on a topic that bears some relevance to cladistic
analysis. For "government," read "cladists," and for _chowty dar_ read "alpha
taxonomist":

"The government is very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add
to them, raise them to the _n_th power, take the cube root and prepare
wonderful diagrams. But what you must never forget is that every one of these
figures comes in the first instance from the _chowty dar_ [village watchman],
who puts down what he damn pleases."

Josiah Charles Stamp, Baron (in _Some Economic Factors in Modern Life_,
London: King, pp. 258-259)


"Garbage in, garbage out."

Unknown computer programmer, circa 1960