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Re: vertebrate numbers of digits

At 08:19 AM 10/29/97 -0600, Jerry Harris wrote:
>        Since no one else has given this audience the background for
>understanding this problem, I shall regurgitate here a tidbit I wrote for
>another place, and hope it helps some in this forum.

[good stuff snipped.]

>I find it difficult to believe that the interpretation of the
>embryological bird hands as having II, III, and IV is just blindly bought,
>hook, line, and sinker, by so many embryologists (who probably number at
>least as many as paleontologists) if it's so weakly supported.  IOW,
>there's probably something to it, and classically trained paleontologists
>aren't able to effectively refute embryological evidence simply because
>they don't understand it well enough; simultaneously, I would think that
>embryologists suffer a similar handicap when it comes to the fossil

Jerry, thanks for the great review!  Indeed, I am looking forward not only
to the paper but to the response and interpretations of those people who
have a strong background on both the embryological/developmental and
paleontological realms: Shubin, Caldwell, Brochu, etc.  Hopefully we can get
their responses, either here or (better yet) in the scientific forum.

Still thinking it's I-II-III, but willing to see the evidence...

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661