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Re: diagnostic characters in dino skeletons
At 07:15 PM 8/5/97 -0400, you wrote:
>In a message dated 97-08-05 08:41:49 EDT, email@example.com (Thomas R.
>Holtz, Jr.) writes:
><< So, the pattern does not hold within the non-avian dinosaurs, although it
> pretty strong within a few important, speciose taxa. >>
>Suppose you were told that a certain drawer held the only known specimen
>belonging to a new dinosaur taxon of uncertain affinities and that it was
>your job to diagnose the taxon. Given only these two alternatives, and
>without knowing anything elsein advance about the specimen, which would you
>rather the drawer held: (1) a nice, reasonably complete skull, or (2) a nice,
>reasonably complete but thoroughly headless postcranial skeleton?
Silly question, George, since either would do.
Nemegtosaurus and Quaesitosaurus are certainly valid taxa, right?
Elaphrosaurus and Barosaurus are certainly valid taxa, right?
Now, if you were to say that there was a new hadrosaurid, ceratopsid, or
tyrannosaurid, then I would much rather prefer a skull. If it were some
totally new critter, though, I'd like either part (but would much rather
prefer the whole animal).
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661