Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cranial skeleton vs postcranial skeleton

Having said what I said in my last post (about a few minutes ago...) I find it rather annoying that there is a huge abundance of literature on the detailed anatomy of the cranial skeleton but less so on the postcranial skeleton. If the dinosaur is known only from postcranial materials then there is a relatively good account of it - of course what else can you write about? Howver, if there is a perfect skeleton preserved, chances are, the description would be skull-heavy. The authors may even state that "the postcranial skeleton would be described elsewhere" but it probably won't be for another decade or so until this publication actually comes out.

I mean, I like cranial skeletons. Skulls are cool! That's what I work on.

But having collected measurements of postcrania from the literature, this popularity of cranial skeleton is really inconvenient...and I don't have the money or time (well for now) to go all over the world and measure these myself. And a lot of the times, it may be "politically" difficult to get access to these specimens...

1 comment:

Alkalynic said...

Yes! This is especially true of ornithischian dinosaurs, where there has been an overwhelming assumption of uniformity in the postcranial skeleton. It's very frustrating for students who do not necessarily have the resources available to get access to the specimens.