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Re: Ceratopsine phylogeny questions



2009/10/5 David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>:
>>  If the latter
>>  turns out to be the case, are there any real diagnostic differences
>>  between the adult morph of _Triceratops_ and _Arrhinoceratops_ that
>>  would justify separating these taxa at the generic level?
>
> What do you mean by "generic level"? There is no such thing as a "generic
> level". .-)
>
> As long as they can be reliably told apart, which appears to be the case
> (correct me if I'm wrong), they should be considered different species;
> whether you want to consider them different genera in addition is entirely
> left to your (yes, your) taste.

Actually, the question of whether whether you want to consider them
different genera in addition is entirely left to your (yes, your)
taste is entirely left to your (yes, your) taste.  It's clear that
David prefers to think of genera as _wholly_ arbitrary, but there are
plenty of workers who disagree.  We should all remember that
vertebrate palaeontology, and perhaps dinosaur palaeontology in
particular, is very avant garde in this respect -- start talking about
genera being purely arbitrary on, say, an extant entomology mailing
list if you don't believe me.