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Re: New paper on fish fingers

David Marjanovic wrote:

<But the same holds the other way around. One can't claim *O.* has broadened 
ribs just because no sutures are visible. I am taking into account that the 
broadened part is not as thick mediolaterally as in *Eunotosaurus* and 
*Pumiliopareia*, where it apparently is as thick as the rest of the rib (I'll 
check that for *Eunotosaurus*), but much thinner -- it really looks like a 
plate lying of top of a rib. That only the neurals are sculptured just means 
that only the neurals were directly attached to extra-tough skin or scutes, 
which is perhaps not surprising in an aquatic animal.>

  Ah, David, you have stumbled on my current keyboard's current difficulty with 
your artfully interpolated "[y]"'s. Thanks.

  On a more serious note, David (because this argument works BOTH ways) means 
that your own persistent argument that the condition in one taxon is somehow 
comparable to another when they show distinct morphologies, can only tell us 
that these two taxa are different; and that, as Dr. Williams noted, the 
conditions in either taxa at first glance indictate alternate, mutually 
exclusive potential origins for the chelonian shell structure. At which point 
is it as appropriate to argue that *Odontochelys* can be compared to 
*Chinlechelys* if the ribs are UNKNOWN to be fused to osteoderms, or even if 
the former has that many dorsal osteoderms to begin with. It's not that _I_ 
care what came first, or which of these taxa is more indicative of the 
ancestral testudinate condition, but that your own claims in argumentation to 
Tim's are just as nondemonstrative.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)