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Re: Horner's Pachy Lumpin' - Your Thoughts?

Don Ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Stressing I have NO opinion re lumping/splitting, etc, I do
> not find horn size reducing w/ age, or even disappearing
> entirely, to be particularly "counter-intuitive". 

I agree.  "Counter-intuitive" is in the eye of the beholder.  After all, WHO's 
intuition are we talking about?  

This entire issue reminds me of another of Horner's ideas: that _Tyrannosaurus_ 
was exclusively a scavenger.  This idea certainly had its time in the sun.  
However, plenty of people regarded this hypothesis as just plain silly.  It was 
silly; but that's never killed an hypothesis yet.  What doomed the 
"T-rex-was-only-a-scavenger" hypothesis was biomechanical and anatomical 
studies (especially on the jaws and forelimbs of _Tyrannosaurus_), and fossils 
that revealed healed wounds on the bones of herbivorous dinosaurs that are 
inferred to have been inflicted by _Tyrannosaurus_ (i.e., the victim was alive 
before and after it was bit).

Hypotheses survive or fall because they are exposed to further testing. To hark 
back to the Origin-of-Birds 'debate', a great many unorthodox (I'm being nice 
here) ideas have come from Feduccia and other members of the BAND camp. But 
those other studies that have pointedly refuted (with data) the claims of 
Feduccia etc have actually strengthened the birds-are-dinosaurs hypothesis in 
the long run.