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getting a handle on Dinosaur taxonomy
I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the relationships between
dinosaurs, and I was hoping someone might be able to clarify matters in
terms of modern species comparisons.
When we talk about two different hadrosaur species, would it be like
comparing two antelope? Or do you need to go further out to a comparison
between all two-toed hoofed mammals. Or is it just the variation between
mule deer and white-tailed deer?
Are T. Rex and some other large contemporary theropod carnivore (I'm
blanking on names) like Lions and Tigers? Indian and African Lions? Or
more like Bears and Wolverines?
I realize the question covers a _lot_ of complicated ground, but I'm just
trying to get a simple handle on the issue by analogy. Most paleontology
seems to deal with relationships by evolutionary descent (species x begat
species y which begat species z), rather than looking at the separation
between contemporaries. You've got two ceratopsians. Do I look at them
like Moose and Elk or like red and grey Foxes?
I'm probably not helped by ignorance over where larger dinosaur grouping
fall in the taxonomic order. For example: is "Therepod" an order? A class?
Thanks for any light you can shed on the subject,
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