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>Given the significance of such crests in specific recognition, I >would
generally not give such differences more than specific >significance.
Such crests will tend to differ substantially, and >more or less
randomly, between closely related species.
Take *Casuarius casuarius*, the cassowary: no two "helmets" are alike,
and the same is in *Corythosaurus casuarius*, named for that significant
head-gear that so resembled the cassowary's crest. The crest of
*Oviraptor mongoliensis* could be treated as a speciation marker,
because more bones are involved in the forming of his crest than in
Conclusion: they are _at least_ two species. Whether or not they are two
genera must remain for the formal desription. If that description fails
the scrutiny of paleontology, then we can regard it as a simple species.
For one, I've only seen illustrations of *O. mongoliensis* so I cannot
afford my opinion in further detail.
On a related topic, what about *Ingenia yanshini*? Some have regarded it
a species of *Oviraptor,* or a female of that genus (either of its
species that _I_ recognize presently). The manus would deter anybody,
I'd guess, but the skull is too similar to *Oviraptor's* for me to sit
quietly and lack an opinion about it. Sorry for bogging this message
this way, but I felt I needed some more help on figuring this one out. A
picture published in National Geographic, showing a skull that was
partially (mark that) crushed, I concluded and restored an elongated,
crestless oviraptorid skull with a slight nasal hump. Tracy Ford's
restoration published in Lessem and Glut's _Dinosaur Encyclopedia_
(Random House) showed a very *Oviraptor*-ish skull, and I was just
Jaime A. Headden
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