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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: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA