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Re: Pleurocoelus question



To Tom, Ray, Jaime, et al.:

I definitely agree that basing genera, species, etc. on teeth is "bad."  It is 
certainly something that I (probably...) wouldn't do.  However, the fact 
remains that several species and genera are based on teeth, and many have been 
sunk (Trachodon, etc.).  

Therefore, although Astrodon may indeed be a nomen dubium, there is no way to 
know without 1) performing some sort of study and 2) publishing it somewhere.  
To my knowledge, neither have been done.  

I agree with Tom that the star-shaped pulp section likely may not be unique to 
Astrodon.  However, I'm not assuming this.  I'm playing the role of Doubting 
Thomas here, and will accept the fact that Astrodon is a nomen dubium when 
somebody shows me a study.  

And, as Ray said, I'm not advocating destroying any teeth!  If a CT scan would 
reveal anything, then I'm all for it.  I sorely wish that somebody would take 
up a study such as this.  Not necessarily Pleurocoelus vs. Astrodon per se, but 
something on the pulp and interior shapes of brachiosaurid or sauropod teeth.  

Steve

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Steve Brusatte-DINO LAND PALEONTOLOGY
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