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Re: Defunct genera and _Pekinosaurus galtoni_ (was Re: Suchomimus' forcula)



In a message dated 9/25/00 2:45:52 PM EST, twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com writes:

<< In these cases I think the lumping is justified.  Well-represented dino 
 species (_Allosaurus fragilis_, _Coelophysis bauri_, _Triceratops horridus_, 
 to name a few) tend to show a lot of morphological variation within the 
 species. >>

Problem is skeletal morphology alone tends to understate diversity; it's all 
too easy to ascribe all kinds of morphological differences to individual 
variation, ontogeny, sexual dimorphism (to cite the usual three culprits). 
E.g., lions and tigers are skeletally indistinguishable (any putative 
differences are swamped by individual variation within each species) but 
they're definitely different species. There should be some way to take 
temporal (stratigraphic) and spatial (locality) distribution into account in 
describing species in addition to morphology, but so far our data are not up 
to the job.