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RE: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu]
> On Behalf Of Tim Williams
> BTW, the dinosaur classification in the "The Princeton Field
> Guide to Dinosaurs" drove me absolutely nuts, especially the
> rampant lumping.
Something worth pointing out here:
* Paleontologists who work in other taxa (especially in non-vertebrates)
consider pretty much all dinosaur paleontologists as crazy
splitters. In some cases, Greg's lumping is more in line with standard
taxonomic practice for other paleotaxa than is the standards
of the community. (Basically, most of the taxa at "subfamily" or "tribe" levels
in dinosaur paleo [or at least those with -inae and
and -ini endings] would wind up as genera in other disciplines).
* The above case is taxonomic flavor, not science. The more problematic issue
with some of the lumping of the Princeton Field Guide
taxonomy is that it requires sister group affiliations not supported by any
published research. So in this case it is not a matter
of taxonomic flavor: it is making a statement of phylogenetic affinity that
requires some form of evidentiary support. In these
cases, we are dealing with a matter of science rather than practice, and thus
it requires methods of science to tease out the levels
of support for alternative hypotheses. I.e., this is where it IS an issue of
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology
Building 237, Room 1117
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742 USA