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I wrote:

<<I'll buy this if you can tell me the difference between a genus and a 
species, and how features can be "generic" or "specific," rather than the 
and George Olshevsky (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<Well, the same argument works the other way, too. Why should Baryonyx and
 Suchomimus be in the same genus when they're so obviously different?>

  I understand the point, but it is what I was asking, actually. Why one
way if you can use similar data to go the other way? Of course species
differ from each other, but I think a lot of systematists have gotten too
comfortable with the idea that the genus, not the species, and contra
dictated systematic "law," is the basic taxonomic unit. Hence, that the
Niger form is more of a "genus" than a "species" of the Isle of Wight
form, that because it had a slightly higher pelvic sail and cranial bones
were longer (nothing between the materials actually are constructively
different, younger snout bones from the Tenéré are virtually identical to
the Isle of Wight form, and both were not fully grown) it somehow warrents
extra special arrangement. I can carry this argument with any polyspecific
taxon or monospoecific taxon where a similar form is a new genus for
convenience or simplicity, rather than just naming a new species in an
already existing "genus". Kinda your name in lights, though I know many
don't do it for that reason.

  So, what is the difference between a genus and a species? It works both
ways. As Tom Holtz has pointed out, there really is no meter, no special
character that if it shows up makes a taxon _sooo_ unique it gets to be a
genus on its pretty lonesome.


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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