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New paper: Benton on the quality of dinosaur names
You can download this from the Royal Society publishing site for only
Or you can download it for free from Benton's reprint page:
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <email@example.com> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "Obstfledermause! Nehmen Sie sie, so lang sie noch heiss sind!
Sie sind lieblich" -- Andreas Pagel.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. writes:
> This just in (FirstCite form):
> Benton, M.J. 2008. Fossil quality and naming dinosaurs. Biol. Lett.
> The intense interest in dinosaurs through the past 30 years might have led
> to an increase in poor practice in naming new species. A review of the data
> shows that the reverse is the case. For 130 years, from the 1820s to the
> 1950s, most new species of dinosaurs were based on scrappy and incomplete
> material. After 1960, the majority of new species have been based on
> complete skulls or skeletons, and sometimes on materials from several
> individuals. This switch in the quality of type specimens corresponds to the
> recent explosive renaissance of interest in dinosaurs, during which the
> number of new species named per year has risen, from three or four in the
> 1950s, to thirty or more today. The pattern of specimen quality varies by
> continent, with the highest proportion of new species based on good material
> in North America, then Asia, then South America, then Africa and finally
> Europe. This ranking reflects a complex pattern of perhaps overstudy in
> Europe, immensely rich reserves of new dinosaur materials in North America
> and Asia, and a relative paucity in South America and Africa.
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 301-405-4084
> Office: Centreville 1216
> Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
> Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
> Fax: 301-314-9661
> Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
> Fax: 301-405-0796
> Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Department of Geology
> Building 237, Room 1117
> University of Maryland
> College Park, MD 20742 USA