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RE: Various other papers of interest in the latest Palaeontology
Michael Mortimer (email@example.com) wrote:
<Sankey (2002) purported to show that Paronychodon is a morphotype of
Richardoestesia? isosceles, based on morphology and relative abundance. The
details of this study have yet to be published, though it does make sense
stratigraphically, as both taxa first appear in Late Jurassic Europe and spread
to North America in the Albian, with Late Cretaceous examples known from the
Western North America, Central Asia and Europe. It's also logical anatomically,
as Richardoestesia? isosceles would be expected to have some unserrated and
possibly constricted teeth if it were microraptorian. It should be noted
Paronychodon has priority over Richardoestesia, and lacustris and caperatus
both have priority over isosceles. Also, Euronychodon has priority over
Asiamericana, and portuculensis has priority over both asiatica and asiaticus.
So if this synonymy is proven, none of the names associated with
straight-toothed Richardoestesia will survive synonymization.>
I think it's a very bad idea to go around assigning taxonomy to morphotypic
quanta in teeth, and for the most part most morphologists appear to agree.
Dinosaur taxonomy has about 115 taxa based on dental holotypes/lectotypes.
However, a few do think that distinct quanta in groups of fossils constrained
through time and space allow the material to be named, this name's relevance to
other body fossils is less concise. That tooth variation within taxa has 1)
never been quantified for a majority of taxa and in fact for very, very few,
and 2) has never been quantified compared among taxa, making the metric of
dental variation a poor standard of taxonomic nomenclature.
But that's me. I am of course gladly eager for the volume Mickey alludes to
above, in that it should help clarify some things.