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RE: Australodocus bohetii - new diplodocoid from... Africa
Mike Taylor wrote:
It's getting pretty exciting in the Late Jurassic of Tanzania. Remember
that we already had the brachiosaurid _Brachiosaurus brancai_, the probable
titanosaurs _Janenschia_ and _Tendaguria_ and
the diplodocine _Tornieria_. Add in the new diplodocine _Australodocus_,
and the putative new brachiosaurid that I spoke about at SVPCA 2005, and we
either have a collection of six neosauropods or an epidemic of
oversplitting :-) (Clearly I favour the former.)
I'd bet dollars to donuts that _Janenschia_ and _Tendaguria_ eventually turn
out to be one and the same. Apart from that, I don't think the Tendaguru
sauropod fauna is oversplit at all.
As for _Brachiosaurus brancai_... it could be it's own genus. There's
already a genus name available... darn, if only I could remember it...
(from another thread:)
And hypotheses generated by running a cladistic analysis are just as
provision, just as subject to being overturned, as those generated in other
ways. (The great advantage of cladistics is not really that it gives
better results than any other way of hypothesising phylogeny, but that it
forces you to "show your working", so that others can replicate and improve
Beautifully said, Mike. Cladistics allows a given phylogenetic hypothesis
to be tested - such as every time a new taxon (or a more complete specimen
of a known taxon) is discovered.
Cladistics also helps minimize the HWF ("Hand-Waving Factor") in
phylogenetic scenarios. There's still hand-waving, but it only comes after
you get a phylogenetic tree. Nowadays, the tree is the foundation for
constructing an evolutionary scenario, not the other way round.
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