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

Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

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.

Yep, that's the rub. Bare bones don't mate and reproduce like real live lions and tigers do. The best way is to play it safe. When the skeletal material of several individuals is consistent and within the morphometric range of a single species, then it's perhaps best to only recognise a single species, even if that species has a wide stratigraphic and geographic distribution.

If this was ruthlessly applied to all dino species, it would spell trouble for a lot of sauropod taxa. _Apatosaurus ajax_ and _A. excelsus_ could probably be lumped into a single species - is there a single anatomical character that can be used to separate these stratigraphically separate species? Simple overall body size doesn't count. (Ditto for _Diplodocus longus_ vs _D. carnegiei_, _Camarasaurus supremus_ vs _C. grandis_). It's "lumping" for sure, but it beats scrambling to find diagnoses to justify upholding species that are uncomfortably close to related species.


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