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