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Re: Pterofiltrus, new pterosaur from China



2011/12/1 Mark Witton <Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk>:
> — Rescued from the truncation monster —
>
> Holy Hell: are there any Chinese pterosaur specimens that _haven't_ been 
> named yet?
>
> Such propensity for naming every _slightly different_ animal hasn't been seen 
> since the 1800s, and it's making dealing with Chinese pterosaurs - an 
> undeniably important resource - increasingly difficult.
>
Well, that's my eternal question: how do you know how much differences
lead to you to propose some animal is a new species (because in this
nomenclatural problem we seem to need to talk about species) instead
of a member of the same taxon than other from which it will present
differences. I mean, if we center on characters, how to know if a
difference in a character is intra-specific or inter-specific? After
all, it is very difficult for two specimens to be completely the same
(disregarding differences on ontogenetic stage). The best (although
perhaps not so popular) idea occurring to me was to stop thinking of
such an ambiguously defined concept as the species, and talking about
relationships between specimens.

Cheeers,
Augusto