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Re: New refs #31

At 12:13 PM 1/22/99 EST, Dan Varner wrote:
>In a message dated 99-01-22 10:55:52 EST, you write:
><< Staying in the Jurassic, a review on New Mexico by Spencer *I never sleep
>or my productivity is reduced to 12 papers a day* Lucas and Orin Anderson.
>Don¢t really know when Spencer does sleep given the massive of numbers of
>papers coming out these days. He doesn¢t even cheat and sort of publish the
>same paper over and over, as some do. >>
>  Lucas is in the same clade as Micheal Benton, who could start his own book
>of the month club. Dan Varner.

A couple of Benton's students, Michael S.Y. Lee and Mark Wilkinson (I
*think* he was a Benton student...), are keeping up their professor's
tradition.  Both have published buttloads in the last few years.  Lots of
their publications are in theoretical aspects of systematics, as well as in
pareiasaur-turtle origins and sphenodontians (respectively).

And on that note:
Lee, M.S.Y.  1998.  Phylogenetic uncertainty, molecular sequences, and the
definition of taxon names.  Systematic Biology 47:719-726.

More stuff about phylogenetic taxonomy, its practicalities and criticisms.
Lee mentions that phylogenetic definitions are becoming increasingly
prevalent, especially in studies dealing with higher vertebrates, and cites
(among others), Gauthier et al., Sereno, Padian & May, and me.  (I only
bring these up because these papers concern dinosaurs, and thus I can
justify talking about this on the dinosaur list... ;-).

Lee brings up the very good point that while stem- and node-based taxon
names are easily transfered from one type of data base to another (molecules
to morphology and back again), apomorphy-based taxon definitions are much
more problematic, as so much of modern systematics is being conducted using

(As Lee points out, the whale-hippo hypothesis, or "whippo" as I heard Carl
Zimmer call it, is at present supported best by molecules.  Thus, if someone
were to give the whale-hippo group its own taxon name, it would be difficult
to base it on a particular apomorphy).

And, regarding whippos, a new book forthcoming:
Thewissen, J.G.M. 1999.  The Emergence of Whales: Evolutionary Patterns in
the Origin of Cetacea.  Plenum Publishing Company.  400 pp. approx.

This is the first in a new series called "Advances in Vertebrate
Paleobiology", which promises to be pretty interesting (the next volume is
"Extinctions in Near Time: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences").


Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661