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Re: Re-evolving bones?



In a message dated 97-05-06 11:12:37 EDT, jrhutch@socrates.berkeley.edu (John
R. Hutchinson) writes:

<< Sure, paleontologists could be wrong about therizinosauroids; you could be
 right. It certainly seems a little more intuitive to derive them from
 "prosauropods", at least from a distance, but at a finer focus I'm not so
 sure. I trust the characters and the methods more than my gut-feeling based
 on a few phenetic resemblances. Most good paleontologists today won't be
 easily convinced by scenarios that pretend to explain why things can't
 evolve into other things by using incorrect information or speculative
 stories. Makes good fantasy, but not good science. >>

Yes, well, it would be nice to see people get some empirical facts correct,
at least for starters. For example, the paper describing the _Erlikosaurus_
skull maintains that interdental plates are a >theropod< character. But such
structures are also unmistakably found in sauropodomorphs. Unfortunately, my
copy of the paper isn't with me right now, but I recall finding several other
little problems in it like the above, threatening (at least for me) the
credibility of the entire work.