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Wedel on Indeterminate Hadrosaurs

Thought some on the list might find this dismissal amusing.  I
sent Matt Wedel the recent posting from Tim Williams that included the
abstracts of three papers, the second of which was Mulder et al. 2005
on an indeterminate hadrosaur fragment.  I now include, with,
permission, Matt's reply.


Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 16:42:07 -0700
From: Matt Wedel <sauropod@berkeley.edu>
> Notable for the second paper discussed, which I think must rate as, by
> some distance, the most boring legitimate research ever published on
> any dinosaur specimen.

Yikes! Let's count the ways.
> Mulder, E.W.A., Jagt, J.WM and Schulp, A.S (2005).  Another record
Ah, so it's not even the first. How...exciting.
> ABSTRACT: "An incomplete
The plot thickens.
> tibia
> of an indeterminate
> hadrosaurid
> is described, illustrated and compared with the type lot of
> _Orthomerus dolloi_ SEELEY, 1883
Wait, that sounds almost like worthwhile work. But then:
> [nomen dubium]
Rescued from meaning at the last moment.
> Although the specimen lacks geographic/stratigraphic details,
So not only is it incomplete and indeterminate and best compared to a
nomen dubium, it doesn't even have any provenience data. But wait!
> a small matrix sample taken from the medullar foramen has now
> yielded benthic foraminifera
Oh, yes, enter the microscopic invertebrates. Praise be!
> that corroborate its provenance from the Maastrichtian type area,

Thus securing its status as the _second_ indeterminate hadrosaur from 
the type Maastricht.
Somebody better be making an hour-long documentary out of this,
complete with computer animations of what the tibia would have looked
like in life.
Thanks for that. I have a newfound respect for my own work.


Matt emphasises: "This started as an off-list joke between the two of
us. We're sending it out because we think it's funny, but we emphasize
that it's _just a joke_. We have nothing but respect for Anne Schulp
and her colleagues, invertebrate paleontologists, or even people who
work on hadrosaurs.  Seriously."


 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Hoddle had stepped beyond the bounds of Blair's new, carefully
         focus-grouped and concensus-adjusted definition of freedom of
         speech, which is the freedom to say only those things which no
         one else could possibly object to" -- Giles Smith.