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RE: Senter 2006, Confuciusornis, and humeral mobility



Jaime Headden wrote:

>   An abstract "hypertrophy" term is meaningless to me. I suspect it is to
> everyone else. It is only meaningful to use as a referent from another
> condition.

In principle I agree that this should be true, but in practice the top
anatomists in Paleontology do not use the term "hypertrophied" that way.
They don't write "hypertrophied relative to...". they just write
"hypertrophied". Is this possibly the adjective form of the general
"hypertrophism" that you mentioned?

I looked for textbook definitions of reduced and hypertrophied and had
surprisingly little luck. Some anatomy professors' syllabi use the term
reduced to mean "reduced in function with or without reduction of size".
Hypertrophy is usually defined histologically, though Paleontologists
really never establish that the osteocytes are enlarged, as opposed to
more numerous, when they use the term.

You are right that it is illogical to use these terms without reference to
another measurement, yet that is how it is used and understood as an idea
in our field. It can still be a useful word to convey a sense of the
shape, albeit an imprecise word.

-Jason