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Re: Fieldwork or bust? (Was: Stenopelix valdensis)

historical collections tend to be biased: sometimes
this is because specimens could not be collected, or
perhaps weren't noted. modern collecting techniques,
are of course, much better (in most cases), but cherry
picking still occurs in many institutions. It's fine
from some perspectives, but for studies like taphonomy
it isn't very helpful.


--- Danvarner@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 7/12/2006 9:56:19 PM Eastern
> Standard Time,  
> df9465@yahoo.co.uk writes:
> <<  museum collections are, by their nature,
> unnaturally
> biased. 'Cherry  picked' if you like. For every
> specimen in a museum, there are probably a  hundred
> out
> there either in collections made by other  people
> (amateurs/private/local collectors: pick your own
> term
> here), or  simply as specimens not collected and
> left
> in the field. this is not the  fault of museums:
> they
> can only curate so many specimens, and of  course,
> fragmentary or undiagnostic specimens are not always
> possible or  worthwhile collecting. >>
>     That tore it. At the museum I worked with ( and 
> others that I know) 
> everything diagnostic in the way of vertebrates was 
> collected with statigraphic 
> position and compass reading. At least that's the 
> way it is on my planet.
>     The only cherry-picking I saw was done by the
> guys  in the black hats who 
> would snatch skulls if they were in a hurry (and
> they  usually were). DV

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