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George Olshevsky (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<To me, two dinosaurs belong in different genera if the average dinosaur  
paleontologist can tell them apart at a glance (assuming they're at the
same ontological stage and are of the same sex), without resorting to
making detailed measurements or detailed examinations of skeletal anatomy.
Contrapositively, if they cannot be told apart at a glance, they very
likely belong to the same genus; and detailed anatomical examinations and 
measurements (e.g., multivariate analysis) may turn up consistent
differences in the hypodigm of the genus that indicate the existence of
distinct species within the genus.>

  Problem solved! The hoatzin is really a phasianid galliform, probably an
aberrant Guinea fowl! And obviously that tusk makes *Monodon* (narwhal)
the loneliest whale in the world, guess it should get its own subfamily,
and whitefish (beluga) too, since no other whale is so white, it is quite

  At-a-glance estimates are crap, or just plain estimates. Sorry, but they
did this in the old days, pre-Simpson and the like, before the detailed
analysis of fossils and evolution were applied. It takes a detailed
analysis to determine anything. Finding of a loose prepubic bone in the
pelvis of *Zalambdalestes*, a placental, doesn't make it a marsupial;
several sauropods have secondarily lengthened the neck and acheived a low,
tapering skull, independantly of the others, and at-a-galce
interpretations don't make titanosaurs paraphyletic since detailed
analysis places them in a unique position within the boxy-headed
camarasauromorph group. And just because *Barsboldia* has been restored
with a head having a funny crest, doesn't make it *Hypacrosaurus* (it just
doesn't have a head, and those club shaped neural spines are surely worhty
of its own family, Barsboldiidae --- but those occur in stegosaurs, don't
they? Maybe it's an aberrant stegosaur....)

  Grr, don't anyone take the sarcasm to heart ... I am just trying
extremes of at-a-glance reasoning.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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