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Re: Hesperornis sp. nov.

Rob Gay wrote:

>However, it is rather presumptuous to say that anything based on less than a perfectly preserved skeleton (I know that's a little over the top, but none the less) should be rendered invalid. Have you personally looked at this material in question? Are you 100% sure it undiagnostic. Sure, the remains may be wanting a little more, but such is the nature of the fossil record. Perhaps it just grates on my nerves because most times a new specimen is announced, it seems to be disregarded as "s/crap"...seems somewhat unscientific, in my opinion. Single elements can be, and are, diagnostic in many cases.<

I couldn't agree more. Since Stephan Pickering´s objections were specifically about fossil birds (which is what this hominid sarcopterygian prefers to call avian theropods) I would like to point out that in 1969 Hildegarde Howard described _Plotopterum joaquinensis_ from a single upper end of a coracoid and stated that it belonged to a new family Plotopteridae, related to but distinct from Anhingidae and Phalacrocoracidae, and furthermore that it was probably flightless (Howard, H. 1969: A new Avian fossil from Kern County, California, Condor 71:68-69). That might seem pretty daring from just a single "scrap of bone", but she was right on all counts.

Tommy Tyrberg