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Re: BALDOSAURUS & TROCHANTER NAMES



The Nefarious Darren Naish wrote:
>Following arguments given by Gregory (1918), they note that 
>nomenclature about archosaur femora is currently incorrect in that 
>what most people are calling the lesser trochanter is not in fact 
>homologous with the same-named structure in other reptiles and 
>mammals,
        Indeed, I've been told that many things we call by the same name are
not homologous. The phylogenetic method of determining homology would lead
us to assume that all features are potentially non-homologous (or, more
properly, potentially homologous), and that the homology must be
demonstrated. Since we have no claim to special knowledge about homology,
and we have only a limited (albeit huge) vocabulary base upon which to draw,
perhaps we should simply agree to accept the flaws in our current terminology.
        A standard nomenclature, at least within larger taxa, seems far more
important than issues of homology (which literally boil down to semantics).
It is far easier and more valuable, IMHO, to take careful and detailed note
of which features are putatively homologous than to insist on adopting a
scheme based on homologies which are potentially unstable (i.e. all
homologies). As Darren points out, access to the literature is also
important, and I will gladly sacrifice someone else's hypothetized homology
map for my ability to read Romer.
        Well, that's my very inexperienced view of things. Now I wonder what
people who actually get paid to think about this sort of thing have to say.
        :)
        Wagner

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     Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
 "Only those whose life is short can truly believe that love is forever"-Lorien