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RE: why isn't Tethyshadros insularis just a juvenile?



Denver Fowler wrote:

<The neurocentral fusion is not addressed in the vertebral descriptions, and is 
not confirmed histologically.>

  My understanding is that generally taken, the obliteration or 
near-obliteration of the suture between two bones is a proxy for complete 
fusion. This is how vertebrae have been assigned "fusion" status for the past, 
oh, 200 years.  To histologically section -- or, perhaps favorably to the 
preservation of the bones, CT -- each vertebra to compare the progress of true 
fusion would be so time consuming and perhaps annoying if it would need to be 
done for each specimen to assure oneself of IT'S age.  This is especially 
problematic when vertebral fusion may not actually infere sexual maturity 
and/or "adult" status:  It merely represents skeletal maturity, which is most 
important in biomechanical aspects.  

Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden

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