[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Some silly questions



I think the questions were more about the duration for
which taxa existed.

Oops! Yes, it was, sorry.

Well then.

- The fossil record is a pointillist affair. Most dinosaur "genera" are known from a single specimen or from a few that have the same geological age; we have no way of telling beginning and end.

- Genera don't exist. For the purposes of nomenclature, we have to pretend they exist (as long as the PhyloCode isn't implemented yet), but they still don't exist.

- Very few species concepts are applicable to terrestrial vertebrate paleontology, which makes it very doubtful that the recognized species correspond to anything that a neontologist with a time machine would recognize as a species... under any of the 25 or more species concepts that have been proposed so far. Remember, depending on the species concept there are between 101 and 249 endemic bird species in Mexico.