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Re: [dinosaur] T. rex specimen completeness

On Thu, Mar 23rd, 2017 at 12:31 AM, Thomas Richard Holtz <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:

> Please keep in mind, there is no standardized way of counting this. Is it %
> by volume? Is it % by number of bones? This could get you radically
> different numbers for the same species.

There would be many ways to quantify this. If you had one of a pair of bones, 
and you assumed 
that the missing one was a mirror image (which, barring pathological changes, 
is generally a safe 
assumption), then you've essentially got both bones as far as anatomical 
information is concerned.
In that respect you really only need 50% of the non-sagittal bones from a 
single individual to have 
100% anatomical data. Unless you were dealing with the dinosaurian equivalent 
of a fiddler crab. :-)

If you've got the top 60% of an individual's left femur, and the lower 60% of 
their right femur (so 
there's overlap), then you could confidently reconstruct both.

If however you were interested in pathologies at the level of the individual 
animal, then your 60% 
complete specimen is *really* only 60% complete (even if you have one of every 
pair of bones),
since there may have been pathologies on those missing bones that could have 
been used to infer
the life history or behavioural habits of that individual dinosaur.


 Dann Pigdon
 GIS Officer
 Melbourne, Australia