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Re: New Paper
Rahul Daryanani writes:
> Well, thanks to those who gave me the link. I just had a question
> about it. Is it really possible (stesses on possible), that
> A. fragillmus is a genera or specie of A. altus.
Sure, it's possible. But not necessarily probable. That's not
something anyone could pronounce definitively on without comparing the
fossils of both -- and since one of them is gone, that ain't gonna
happen. So the best we can do is compare the long figure of
_A. fragillmus_ with the _A. altus_ remains, and that's exactly what
Ken did in his paper. So what you've just read is the state of the
art concerning _Amphicoelias_ species synonymy.
> Personally, I really doubt it, by looking at the most obvious
> SIZE. Most of my sources cite A. altus at a maximum of about 80 ft
> and a minimum of 65 feet, while the minimum I've seen anywhere for
> A. fragillmus is 130 ft (Paul's estimate), and a maximum of 205
> ft. That's a difference of more than 200% [...]
Nope -- it's a difference of 100%; it's a _factor_ of 200%. (Sorry to
be picky, but this mistake is an easy habit to get into.)
> [...] so I highly dobut that even the most abnormal species could
> grow so much larger than normal.
Why? Variation even _within_ species can be far greater than that --
compare a great dane with a toy poodle. Size is very subject to
evolutionary pressure, and tends to change quickly in all sorts of
circumstances. For this reason, it's not much used in systematics.
> Although size is one of the less scientific ways of distinguishing
> the two species, I'd say it's one of the most obvious. Your
> thoughts are welcome.
I agree on both counts. Unfortunately, much of what is "obvious"
turns out to be wrong :-)
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "In Italy you are always on shaky ground. You can be top of
the league, have a bad team photo and be sacked" -- Ron Atkinson.