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Re: Tyrant stuff (no longer ranting) (was RE: Rant (was RE: Details on SVP 20...



George Olshevsky (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<With fossil vertebrates all we have are bones, so when the bones are 
sufficiently different, this is prima facie evidence that the individuals 
belonged to different species, or genera, or families. We haven't a clue
as  to whether this notion is correct, since there's no way to test the 
interbreeding ability of extinct animals. Heck, Nopcsa once proposed that 
lambeosaurids were the males of suitable hadrosaurids--an idea that Peter 
Dodson eventually worked out in a plausible way. I see no way to determine
 whether two fossils belong to the same species except via time machine. 
Ultimately, it's all guesswork, cladistics or no.>

  Actually, there is an applicability to living forms that permits skull
variation excercises to suggest, at least, that variation in a population
or between them may have nothing to do with the genetic signal, as occurs
in domestic dog and cat today. They are all genetically virtually
identical, and though Paul has used the data to support multiple species
may be synonymous, this is actually a foundation of some merit. Not
knowingness does not sound like an excuse to determine then how some forms
are not the same species, or genus, much as the statement that they can be
used to related them in the same genus, etc.

  Cheers,


=====
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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