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CRANIAL-CAUDAL vs ANTERO-POSTERIOR
Jon: Rostral, cranial and caudal remove ambiguity and certainly are the
norm nowadays if you read monographs on diverse critters. Why are
they cumbersome - the words are shorter than anterior and posterior!
(and a cranial caudal vertebra would have to be called an anterior
caudal vertebra in the 'old' system anyway).
It's easy to tell which end of a tetrapod is the head and which the tail,
whereas what is meant by anterior and posterior can sometimes be
ambiguous (e.g. if the penguin acrocorocoid is located anteriorly, does
this mean it's closer to the head or closer to the external surface of the
chest?). Imagine if, in your hadrosaur description, your reader is
imagining the animal standing bolt upright. You might want to give
them a lesson in dinosaur anatomy but, more importantly, what you are
calling anterior might, to them, be ventral (e.g. if you write 'anteriorly,
the ribs become more gracile', what does this mean?).
There's a much more succinct version of this argument in the archives -
courtesy Larry Witmer.
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