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Re: Magnapaulia, "new" lambeosaurine from Baja California, Mexico
Well, I'm not disagreeing that the genus is lousy for such a purpose. But the
material is too similar to existing genera that the average man would
automatically put this taxon into Lambeosaurus (or Velafrons, if you prefer).
My main gripe is that too many genera are being split up too much, distorting
our view of dinosaur diversity. Monoclonius covers Centrosaurus, Styracosaurus,
and the pachyrhinosaurs--they are essentially all the same post-cranially,
unless I am greatly mistaken. It's mainly arbitrary, I'll admit, but some
lumping needs to be done to keep up with the flood of new dinosaur species we
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Keesey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Dinosaur Mailing List" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 7:40:06 PM
Subject: Re: Magnapaulia, "new" lambeosaurine from Baja California, Mexico
On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Tsk, tsk-too much splitting. This material does not represent a new genus, at
> least from my point of view.
Unfortunately, personal points of view are usually the only criteria
we have for delimiting genera.*
> I wish that more existing genera should be bolstered by adding species,
I sort of agree. This could easily have been Velafrons laticaudus. But
it's not a huge issue. Or at least, it's not a scientific issue.
> rather than over-exaggerating dinosaur diversity by creating excess genera.
The key there is to remember that genera are a terrible unit of
diversity. Nobody should use them as such, ever.
* Except for those which have been phylogenetically defined, but
that's not the case for the vast majority of dinosaur genera. In fact,
I can only think of one example off the top of my head -- Sereno's
(1998) definition of Archaeopteryx, which he later used instead for
T. Michael Keesey