[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
New papers (including a new classificatory system!)
Shoehorn, J.P. (2002) Triskadekapedian Systematics: A new system for
assessing the phylogenetic relationships of living and extinct taxa.
Moronica 45: 99-178
Dr Shoehorn suggests an alternative method to Phylogenetic Systematics for
determining the phylogenetic affinities of species. In order to determine
the group to which a species should be assigned, Triskadekapaedian
Systematics (TS) proposes that the species in question be put in front of a
13-year-old child who is asked to identify what it is.
Says the author: "Using this simple criterion, it was determined that the
fossil 'dinosaurs' _Caudipteryx_ and _Protarchaeopteryx_ are in fact birds.
Showing a 13-year-old a picture of _Longisquama_ with feathers sticking out
of its back also convincingly demonstrated that this enigmatic taxon is
probably a bird." The author believes that TS is a superior alternative to
"any methodology that requires an exhaustive examination of specimens, an
extensive knowledge (or indeed, any knowledge) of the taxonomic group
involved, or for complicated and expensive software for subsequent
However, Dr Shoehorn concedes that "the 13-year old also identified
Godzilla, Barney and a passing cloud as looking like dinosaurs. But apart
from these trivial technical imperfections, our methodology is far superior
to other methods that frankly require far too much work."
Walters, B. (2002). New dinosaurs from Beverly Hills, California. J. Fash.
Sci. 5: 4-20.
_Masiakasaurus knopfleri_ seems to have set a trend in naming new dinosaurs
after celebrities (or alleged celebrities). Walters' article on Californian
dinosaurs adds a few more names to the list: the large and ponderous
_Badactor schwarzeneggeri_; the nimble _Shopraptor winonae_; and two new
members of the family Irritatoridae: the malignant _Excruciator tomgreeni_
and the opportunistic _Exploitator geraldoriverai_.
Wankoff, V. (2002). New Mesozoic birds from Russia. Rubbishkaya 10: 23 36.
Describes two new avian taxa from the Cretaceous of Russia. _Fantasticornis
superbus_ is described as a "powerful flier with broad wings, feet adapted
for perching, and short tail". It is known from a partial tibia. The
second taxon, _Terroravis formidibalis_, is said to be a "flying raptorial
bird with a ferocious beak and razor-sharp talons"; this new bird species is
known from a partial rib.
A third avian specimen from the same horizon, known from a skeleton missing
part of the skull and tail, is described by Dr Wankoff as 'Aves indet.'