Dinosaur Systematics: Approaches and Perspectives – Kenneth Carpenter & Phillip J. Currie
In recent years dinosaurs have captured the attention of the public at an unprecedented level. At the heart of this resurgence in popular interest is an increased level of research activity, much of which is innovative in the field of paleontology. For instance, whereas earlier paleontological studies emphasized basic morphologic description and taxonomic classification, modern studies attempt to examine the role and nature of dinosaurs as living animals. More than ever before, we understand how these extinct species functioned, behaved, interacted with each other and the environment, and evolved. Nevertheless, these studies rely on certain basic building blocks of knowledge, including facts about dinosaur anatomy and taxonomic relationships. One of the purposes of this volume is to unravel some of the problems surrounding dinosaur systematics and to increase our understanding of dinosaurs as a biological species. Dinosaur Systematics presents a current overview of dinosaur systematics using various examples to explore what is a species in a dinosaur, what separates genders in dinosaurs, what morphological changes occur with maturation of a species, and what morphological variations occur within a species.