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Scare Quotes and Recent Ceratopsians



Some of my more particular observations can be found here:
http://qilong.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/scare-quotes-and-recent-ceratopsians/

In it, to sum is that there is a continuing trend to either discard or devalue 
apparent nomina dubia, permitting authors to synonymize them while ignoring 
their historical dubious nature. *Eoceratops canadensis* and *Chasmosaurus 
kaiseni* cannot both be nomina dubia _and_ synonyms of *Mojoceratops perifania* 
due to referral of types to the hypodigm of the latter.

Quotes used by Scannella and Horner imply *Torosaurus* is a nomen dubium, which 
they synonymize with *Triceratops*, but without referring the species to 
another particular species. While they affirm this referral repeatedly, they do 
not specify the qualities that permit *Torosaurus* to be synonymous with 
*Triceratops* versus any other chasmosaur (accepting the premise that the 
sister taxon relationship recovered is true) while rejecting the nature of that 
sister taxon relationship as less parsimonious than synonymizing them. 
Relationship of *Torosaurus latus* will apparently be resolved in a later paper 
affirming validity of *Triceratops horridus* and *Triceratops prorsus* 
stratigraphically, especially if it, as is suggested, is synonymous with either 
of the previously considered valid taxa.

Cheers,

  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)
  http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)

                                          
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