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rigor



At 07:01 PM 9/26/96 -0400, Dinogeorge wrote:

>As Gatesy has pointed out, an increase in the sacral count could be
>related to the changes in the way the caudal and upper hind limb
>musculature worked, perhaps for balance during perching.

First, let me say that I'm happy that at least some people credit
researchers for their contribution.  Too many messages on this list treat
data and hypotheses as common knowledge.

At the same time, accurate citations are important.  Although my memory is
fading, I'm not so prolific to think I could forget pointing out something
about sacral counts.  Did I ever really say this in print?  If so, where?
If not, please stop saying I did.  If I did, please use a real citation so
that people can go find out in what context it might have been said.
Perhaps I spewed it out as an off the cuff answer to a question at a
conference.  Are sacral and caudal counts being confused?

Similarly, my data has been noted by Tom Holtz (sorry, Tom, I erased the
original messages) to support an association between pubic rotation and a
change in theropod limb retraction mechanism.  Although I sort of like this
idea, I don't recall ever suggesting it.   If it's Tom's idea based on my
data, it should be so stated.  Positive or negative criticism of my data or
what I say is one thing.  Agreeing or disagreeing with what you think my
data says is one step removed from me and should be made clear.  This is a
fine line, but one that makes well written papers and messages much more
useful and truthful.

Gossip about hearsay about rumor is what will make me (and I assume others)
leave this list.  I'm not asking for full references; just be considerate
of those who generate new finds, data and ideas.

Thanks,  Steve

Stephen M. Gatesy
Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Box G-B209
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912
401-863-3770
401-863-7544 (fax)