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Re: Princeton Field Guide

On 30 September 2010 21:13,  <GSP1954@aol.com> wrote:
> Now that the field guide is out and about some comments.
> The book is a POPULAR work entirely in the style of a field guide for birds
> or mammals. So it does not include specimen numbers, diagnoses or the like
> and I don’t want to hear about it.

Then how can it possibly be an appropriate venue to do wholesale
taxonomic reassignments?

> But dinopaleo has gotten into the bad habit
> of usually making almost every species into its own genus. This is illogical
> considering that many modern bird and mammals contain large numbers of
> species – Varanus (now formally includes Megalania), Panthera, Felis, Canis,
> Vulpes, Cervus, Tragelaphus, Cephalophus, Ovis, Gazella, Macropus, 
> Balaenoptera,
> Buteo, Falco, Anas.

This is of course because dinosaurs are not modern birds or animals.
When taxa are known only from incomplete remains -- sufficient to
distinguish them from all other named taxa but not sufficient to yield
a robust phylogeny -- it's just more convenient to assign a name that
won't have to change when the phylogeny does.

> I see that ceratopsid
> genera are now actually being defined entirely on differences in their cranial
> adornments – that’s a mind blowing development – when these are of course
> specific level in nature.

"Of course"?