Sunday, 15 May 2011

Well-known Dinosaur Expert: Many Known Dinosaur Species Have Never Existed

According to Jack Horner, there are much fewer dinosaur species than scientists had assumed.

Joel Kontinen

The scientific community knows more dinosaur species than there have actually been. To set things straight, palaeontologist Jack Horner wants to have more rigorous rules as to when a fossil is a new species, the journal Science reported last Thursday.

Horner, one of today’s best-known dinosaur experts, has previously said that one-third of all known dinosaur species have never existed.

Discovering a new dinosaur species often brings fame and dollars to its discoverer, so it is understandable that lots of species have been found.

Horner points out that dinosaurs of the same species look different at different ages, and this has often led researchers astray. More rigorous research guidelines will cause the demise of 50 species of dinosaurs in the near future.

Several other dinosaur experts agree with Horner.

It is easier to understood the inflation in the number of dinosaur species if one realises the power of belief in millions of years and Darwinian evolution, which would give more time for the evolution of new dinosaur species.

However, if dogmatism begins to guide research, one might well discover species that have never existed.


Margottini, Laura. 2011. Is It Time to Declutter the Dinosaur Roster? Science 332 (6031): 782.