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Re: labels are imaginary

> In a message dated 96-02-05 21:31:19 EST, pharrinj@PLU.edu (Nicholas J.
> Pharris) writes:
> >Sorry, Mr. Olshevsky.  Thank you for playing.
> >
> >Sheer numbers of species have little to do with real disparity.  IMHO 
> >there is a heck of a lot more disparity between _Deinonychus_ and 
> >_Diplodocus_ than between _Deinonychus_ and _Dromaius_.
> >
> >
> There's a heck of a lot less disparity between _Diplodocus_ and
> _Titanosaurus_ than there is between _Deinonychus_ and _Dromaius_, or between
> _Deinonychus_ and a hummingbird. That's the important disparity here. The
> disparity between _Diplodocus_ and _Deinonychus_ is completely irrelevant.
> 10,000 species makes a bush; 200 species is still only a few twigs.
While I agree with Pharris that evolutionary dispairty between species is more
important than sheer numbers, consider this perspective:  The figure of 10,000
species of bird comes from the fact that there are roughly 10,000 living
species.  However, all of my books,_Dinosaur Heresies_, _Discovering Dinosaurs_,
_Hunting Dinsaurs_, et. al, convey (at least by my recollection) that only 3% of
skeletons have a chance of being fossilized.  Thus, though it may be
inappropriate to extend this to a species level, if we take your 200 species
as 3%, then we end up with about 6,000 species of Non-avian Dinosaurs, a figure
quite readily comparable to your 10,000 - quite a nice bush.

R. Scott Kowalke

"When you have found another shrubbery, place the shrubbery here, beside _this_
shrubbery ... only slightly higher, so you get the two-level effect with a path
through the middle."

Monty Python ik den Holie Grailen