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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.