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Non-avialan dinosaurs species recognition hypothesis explains exaggerated structures



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Kevin Padian & John R. Horner (2013)
The species recognition hypothesis explains exaggerated structures in
non-avialan dinosaurs better than sexual selection does.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2013.10.004
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1631068313001541


Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain “bizarre structures”
in dinosaurs and other extinct animals (e.g., mechanical function and
several kinds of intra- and interspecific display). Recent evidence
and tests for species recognition as a possible driver of these
structures have been proposed, in particular as an alternative to
traditional hypotheses of function and sexual selection, which have
fallen short. Advocates of sexual selection and mechanical function
have advanced untested hypotheses claiming that species recognition
cannot be an important process in evolution. We address these claims
and show that they are based on misreading of the evidence and of
previous literature. We also acknowledge that there have been
historically differing definitions of sexual selection, which have
greatly impeded understanding of the whole phenomenon of mate
attraction and choice. Particularly in fossil animals, it is
impossible to accept any hypothesis as the “default” that does not
require evidence or testing to establish it.