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Re: Rinchenia



>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 
*Oviraptor philoceratops'*.

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 
wondering.

Jaime A. Headden

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