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Re: Notes on scientifically comparative paleoposes


I had forgotten about your Brachiosaurus caption. This is exactly what should be done, a clear and precise statement of what specimens and parts of specimens were used. Hopefully you won't require people to refer to them as the "Taylor Conventions".


On 3/18/2011 10:16 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:
On 18 March 2011 16:11, Scott Hartman<skeletaldrawing@gmail.com>  wrote:
  It would be unacceptable for a paleontologist to publish a
paper in which he or she illustrated or figured bones without indicating
their specimen numbers, especially when multiple individuals are known for
that taxon.  Why should it be any different for scientific skeletal
restorations.  Maybe this could be adopted  as a convention by serious
This is something I've actually been doing for some time (e.g.:
http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/psgallery/pages/jeholornis.html )

I was not the sole innovator for that idea either; I picked up the
idea of a rigorous inset from Russell Hawley at the Tate Museum, and
then expanded on some of the conventions, including specimen
description.  Probably I should take it further (although visual and
textual representation of multiple specimens would take up a lot of
room, so it may not be practical for some uses).
In a similar vein, let me draw attention to my (2009:fig. 7)
Brachiosaurus altithorax reconstruction
which distinguished between material from the holotype, material from
referred specimens, and material inferred from related taxa.  The full
caption runs as follows:

FIGURE 7. Skeletal reconstruction of Brachiosaurus altithorax. White
bones represent the elements of the holotype FMNH P 25107. Light grey
bones represent material referred to B. altithorax: the Felch Quarry
skull USNM 5730, the cervical vertebrae BYU 12866 (C?5) and BYU 12867
(C?10), the "Ultrasauros" scapulocoracoid BYU 9462, the Potter Creek
left humerus USNM 21903, left radius and right metacarpal III BYU
4744, and the left metacarpal II OMNH 01138. Dark grey bones modified
from Paul's (1988) reconstruction of Giraffatitan brancai. Scale bar
equals 2 m.

I strongly agree that these distinctions are very important to make,
as is the proper citation of specimen numbers, and attribution of
prior work that is used in executing the new reconstruction.