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Re: Magnapaulia, "new" lambeosaurine from Baja California, Mexico

I understand where you are coming from, but I think that the disproportionate 
number of dinosaur genera is deceptive, that's all. Nobody has to do anything 
differently to remedy this. However, the genus, though arbitrary, still is 
unavoidable. Dinosaurologists dodge species-level ranks quite frequently, as 
compared to other extinct vertebrates. I also think that assigning a specimen 
to a new/seperate genus for geographical reasons is not always a good idea. 
Some species like house sparrows or white-tailed deer have huge ranges yet all 
individuals are the same species. I think the 'genus' issue can be compared to 
using different measurement units: you can measure your height in millimeters, 
but most of us prefer larger units (feet, inches, cm...) and they are less 
awkward to use. So one could have a genus for each species, but multispecific 
genera will be easier (seemingly) to handle. Please forgive me for such a weird 
approach to this; I have my tastes and opinions when it comes to 


From: "Tim Williams" <tijawi@gmail.com> 
To: dinosaur@usc.edu 
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 11:38:52 PM 
Subject: Re: Magnapaulia, "new" lambeosaurine from Baja California, Mexico 

Thomas Yazbeck <tyazbeck@comcast.net> wrote: 

> Well, 'ease of use' is really what I was aiming for anyways. 

"Ease of use" to whom? 

> It's hard to keep track of new genera, so one might as well combine two very 
> similar genera. And by 'average man', I meant paleontologist, not any dude 
> off the street. Keeping the # of dinosaur genera to a 
> conservative, but not over-lumped, amount is what I'm aiming for here (a sort 
> of comprehensive taxonomic clean-up). 

But if the total number of species remains unchanged, what's the 
point?  As an example, why is lumping _Microraptor zhaoianus_ into 
_Sinornithosaurus_ a positive step?  _S. millenii_ and _S. zhaoianus_ 
are still two separate species. 

Raptorial Talon is right: it's just bookkeeping.  Lumping species will 
reduce the number of genus-level "labels", but it has no scientific