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Re: Abstracts, evidence, and disappointment [was: Re: It's HERE!!!



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From: "Mickey_Mortimer" <Mickey_Mortimer@email.msn.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: Abstracts, evidence, and disappointment [was: Re: It's HERE!!!]
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 15:57:14 -0800

Jonathan Wagner wrote-

> I notice that you have not mentioned a single non-iguanodontian...
> isn't it odd how rare Asian small ornithopods are outside of China...

No non-iguanodonts are mentioned in in the chapter.  The authors mention
this and blame it on poor representation in the area.

> New technical drawings and clear photographs or
> glossy-magazine-style, uninformative "snaps?"
> I don't suppose there are any new illustrations of
> Rozhdestvensky's old material, like Aralosaurus and the Jaxartosaurus
> skull cap? Or of the "Gilmoreosaurus" spp. and Bactrosaurus material.

Redrawn, but good technical drawings.  No new illustrations.  Jaxartosaurus
and Aralosaurus are the same pics as in The Dinosauria.  The soviet
"Gilmoreosaurus" remains and Bactrosaurus are not illustrated.

> What, pray, do they say about Aralosaurus?

They can't find any diagnostic characters, the skull roof suggests gryposaur
affinity, more remains need to be found before taxonomic validity can be
established, plus general stats (holotype, horizon, etc.).  In short,
nothing that can't be found in Glut's encyclopedia.

> PEOPLE: ABSTRACTS ARE *N*O*T* SCIENCE!
> I don't care what you read
> in an abstract, until I hear otherwise, my judgement (based on *published*
> data) is that it is indeterminate. I suppose this makes it a nomen
> dubium... honestly, I don't care much for nomenclatural litigation...
> whether the name is "available" or not is irrelevant to science.

Point taken.  I'll be sure to include a note of uncertainty when referencing
abstracts in the future.  Regarding Nipponosaurus, I'm not very familiar
with ornithischians, so I have no personal opinion.  Right now, it's your
opinion versus theirs, both based on a few sentences and equally reputable.
As yours is only based on published data, while they have examined the
specimen first hand, I'm more inclined to believe them, but I'll take
"abstract ambiguity" in mind.

> ??!?!?! Despite most of what you read, Senonian hadrosaur
> bonebeds from eastern Asia do not appear to EVER be "monospecific."

Oh yes, I know about the Mandschurosaurus confusion.  I think the authors
were thinking the new diagnostic remains (undescribed at the time, later
named Amurosaurus) might be referrable to Mandschurosaurus and support its
validity.

Mickey Mortimer
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