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RE: Koreanosaurus, new burrowing ornithopod [Meta]
Anthony Docimo <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> so....they can't say "based on what we have, this is who
> we think are related to _Koreanosaurus_" ?
Unless _Koreanosaurus_ is included in a phylogenetic analysis, then any
discussion of its relationships is just hand-waving.
> yes, I know it would be best to find a dozen full and
> complete skeletons of _Koreanosaurus_. but -
But - if every dinosaur had to be known from a dozen complete skeletons before
we could test its relationships, cladograms would be very small. The worse
that happens with an incompletely known specimen is that its position is weakly
supported (in a statistical sense), and/or it can make the overall topology
> if nobody ever finds any more _Koreanosaurus_es than this,
> wouldn't that mean that we can't figure them into
> cladograms, because there wasn't enough material to begin
No. The _Koreanosaurus_ material is already more than adequate to include in
an analysis. If we combine the holotype, 'paratype' and other referred
specimen (as the authors do), then we have five cervicals, seven dorsals, 17
dorsal ribs, one caudal, both scapulae (nearly complete), both coracoids, both
sternals, a nearly complete left humerus and part of the right (the paper
contradicts itself as to which is which), partial radius + ulna, incomplete
sacrum, partial left ilium and ischium, complete left femur, tibia + fibula,
and incomplete left tarsus and metatarsus. Not bad.
Sure, a skull would be helpful. And not just to provide additional characters
for an analysis. If the _Koreanosaurus_ postcranium is derived compared to
(other?) hypsilophodont-grade onithopods, then who knows what changes went on
in the skull? _Oryctodromeus_ is regarded as a 'digging cursor', which used
burrows for shelter and protection (including a den for raising young), but
otherwise behaved like a typical small, bipedal ornithopod. But if
_Koreanosaurus_ was a digging quadruped, then perhaps the fossorial adaptations
were employed not
, the skull could be very interesting indeed...