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RE: Various other papers of interest in the latest Palaeontology

Michael Mortimer (mickey_mortimer111@msn.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.