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Re: Novel way to reconstruct a skull)

On Thu, 11 Jun 1998 02:27:51 EDT Dinogeorge@aol.com writes:

>After reading about how much leeway there was in the way the skull was
>reconstructed--by flexing and bending wax replicas of the individual 
>"until they fit together"(!)--

Provided that (1 ) all of the skull bones are present and are nearly
complete, and
provided that (2) lithostatic compression has indeed plastically-deformed
individual bones, then  this preparation technique may be the *only* way
put the skull back together.

Granted, unless the preparator has intimate knowledge of *how* the 
bones may have been plastically-deformed, then the completed prepped
skull may in theory not resemble what the skull looked like in life.
Reconstruction caveats should always be taken into consideration
(consider _Protoavis_).

>I believe one could deform the

If the bones, themselves, are lithostatically  plastically-deformed (and
I read
Allan's post that way), then rebending wax replicas isn't *necessarily*
an already bad diagentic condition any worse. (It may not necessarily be
the situation any better, either!).

If the bones are *not* plastically deformed, then I would indeed
be suspicious of a preparator who attempts to bend wax replicas
to make the skull bones articulate a certain way.

In the end, the best way to resolve such ambiguities is to look
at the individual, disarticulated skull bones, rather than looking at
rendition of the reconstructed skull.

Individual skull bones, taken in total,  whether they are
or not, should be sufficient to distinguish a new genus.

I say let Bakker and his preparator reconstruct the skull any way they
want.  But the professional reviewers, on the other hand,
will be looking at the individual bones, and the "new genus" issue will
get sorted out eventually.

Keep in mind that in science, one individual (in this case Bakker)
have a monopoly on taxonomic/diagnostic opinion.


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