[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: ROBUST TIGERS etc



In a message dated 9/28/00 7:50:45 AM EST, darren.naish@port.ac.uk writes:

<< Relevant to 
 dinosaurs and other fossil taxa is that, if we didn't have (1) the live 
 animals and (2) the skulls, we would rarely be able to distinguish the 
 postcrania of these species. One wonders, in fact, whether we would 
 have realised that these *are* separate species.  >>

That right there is the point I'm trying to make. We already know lions and 
tigers are different species, so we have an incentive to carefully look for 
their skeletal differences (which, as Darren pointed out, do exist). But when 
we believe there is only one species, there is no incentive to look for 
species differences, and any observed differences are ascribed to individual 
variation, sexual dimorphism, or ontogeny within the one species, 
particularly when the sample size is very small (as with most dinosaur 
species).