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



To first answer the question that is actually about science: it has often been said that hadrosaurs or ceratopsids are all the same postcranially (or nearly so), but very few people have ever looked... precisely because everyone already knows they're all the same. To a large extent it's a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Am 13.06.2012 07:06, schrieb tyazbeck@comcast.net:

 I understand where you are coming from, but I think that the
 disproportionate number of dinosaur genera is deceptive, that's all.

Genera are _already_ deceptive. Ranks are deceptive.

 However, the genus, though arbitrary, still is unavoidable.

Yeah, because the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature requires that every species be referred to a genus (to the point that genus names are part of species names).

 Dinosaurologists dodge species-level ranks quite frequently, as
 compared to other extinct vertebrates.

That's because they've understood that even species are deceptive.

As of February 2009, there were 147 different species concepts out there. Depending on the species concept, there are from 101 to 249 endemic bird species in Mexico... yes, almost 2 1/2 as many.

 I also think that assigning a specimen to a new/seperate genus for
 geographical reasons is not always a good idea.

Who does that? Has anyone done that since the 1930s?

 I think the 'genus' issue can be compared to using different
 measurement units:

No, it can't. It's not a unit of biodiversity or of anything else. It's a unit of taste.

And while many species concepts describe units of biodiversity, they each describe different things! They have nothing in common except the word "species". Again, the only real reason why we keep pretending otherwise is the ICZN, which doesn't allow you to give a name to an animal if you don't refer it to a species.

 Please forgive me for such a weird approach to this; I have my tastes
 and opinions when it comes to classification...

I have tastes when it comes to icecream; not when it comes to science. The study of biodiversity is science.