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MORE ON CRANIAL vs ANTERIOR



While I've already provided my personal opinion on use of the terms 
cranial-caudal vs anterior-posterior, I'd like to return to a point Jon 
made in his original post. Jon noted that, because the 'anterior-
posterior' system is so well entrenched in the palaeo literature, some 
workers are loathe to replace it with something that comes from 
another field (namely veterinary medicine). 

Yesterday I received an MS back from review. In the MS, I adopted the 
cranial-caudal system...  here is what a reviewer had to say about it:

'I... deplore the use of directional indicators from veterinary anatomy 
(e.g., "cranial" rather than "anterior") in lieu of the well-established 
terminology used by leading vertebrate anatomists and 
palaeontologists in Britain and the United States since the 19th 
century. This practise, initiated by .... (text ommitted) .... is confusing 
to most readers and, at times, leads to patently silly terms (e.g., "caudal 
caudal").'

While this is an opinion, and no reviewer can >force< you to adhere to 
either system, it clearly remains a conspicuous one. As noted by Jerry, 
'caudal caudal' would in reality be 'distal caudal'.

Incidentally, in another MS (in press, doing the proofs today) I and 
coauthors use the name _Ricardoestesia_. I spelt it this way because 
the text was written before Ben and George had their latest round of 
discussion and I was aware of the situation with the Currie et al. 1990 
paper (i.e. the editors replaced _Ricardoestesia_ with 
_Richardoestesia_). I'm unable to come up with a definitive opinion 
and see the merits of both Ben's and George's arguments. I'd be 
interested to know what Phil Currie thinks (i.e. does anyone know how 
he spells the name nowadays?).

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel (mobile): 0776 1372651     
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