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Re: semilunate carpal
> Let's just say that certain teeth are evidence for the existence
> of some
> kinds of theropods in the horizons they're found in, but not
> much good for
> anything else. I don't think you can infer the existence of
> in a horizon solely on the basis of teeth; theropod teeth are
> diagnostic to
> suborder or family at best. Look at the problems Aublysodon
> teeth have caused.
Those are all good points, George, especially the concerning placement
of a taxon withina given horizon. I am 100% with you on that one.
However, that theropod teeth might be diagnostic only to "supeorder"
or "family" (quotations inserted to appease rabid cladists...) are
hypotheses. They have NOT been even tested to significance, never mind
proven. Until people sit down and examine the amount of dental
morphology and varation first WITHIN and then BETWEEN theropod taxa, we
cannot say that. The reason that _Aublysodon_ teeth have been
difficult is that people have gone about examining theropod teeth
rather backwards in general, and no detailed examination of the
dentition of any single theropod clade has ever been done in a
systematic and repeatable way. My point was, and still is, that we
shouldn't go and dismiss a source of potential data (shed theropod
crowns are about the most common dinosaur body fossil) before what can
be done with that putative dataset has really been worked out.