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Re: Pleurocoelus question

On Fri, 15 Jun 2001 06:58:21  
 Tompaleo wrote:

>My main points regarding the sauropod teeth in question were that based on my 
>observations, research and conversations with experts in this area that 
>sectioning of teeth should result in the same pattern. 

Ah ha!  SHOULD.  Do they?  Probably.  Do we know for certain?  No.  

If there was any 
>difference, it still tells us nothing about the taxonomic affinities of its 
>owner. Just as the current Astrodon tells us nothing. A destructive study is 
>thus not warranted and the limited availability of valid specimens makes this 
>last aspect an improbability.

Well, yes and no.  I disagree that teeth differences tell us nothng about 
taxonomy.  Certainly the teeth of humans and chimps are different!  This can 
tell us about taxonomy.  However, I do agree that teeth are very limited, and 
give little evidence of affinities.  

Tom, I think we're arguing many of the same points.  I definitely agree that 
Astrodon may indeed be an invalid taxon.  I think many would agree with this.  
I agree that teeth are very bad for showing taxonomic information, and species, 
genera, etc. should not be named on teeth alone in most circumstances.  
However, I disagree with you when you say no study is needed.  This is science, 
after all.  We can't assume.  There is a high likelihood that your assumption 
may be correct.  However, for many thousands of years it was assumed that the 
sun revolved around the earth.  It's downright stupid to compare the Astrodon 
debate to the earth/sun debate, but they share many characteristics.  Both 
times people assumed something and didn't take the necessary time to study it.  
I certainly do hope that Jaime (thanks for that post, by the way, Jaime) or 
other researchers will begin a study of these teeth.  It wouldn't take much to 
debunk Astrodon, but nobody has done it yet :-((


Steve Brusatte
Dino Land Paleontology

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