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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:

Decisions, decisions!

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.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.
 > doi:10.1098/rsbl.2008.0402
 > Abstract
 > 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: tholtz@umd.edu        Phone: 301-405-4084
 > Office: Centreville 1216                     
 > Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
 > Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
 > http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
 > Fax: 301-314-9661            
 > Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
 > http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
 > 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