Are we naming too many species?

After studying hundreds of specimens of Ichthyosaurus, Dean Lomax believes many 'new' fossil species could be variants of existing ones

The Biologist 65(3) p6

From deep under the sea to the treetops of unexplored forests, numerous new species of living animals and plants are found and described each year. Similarly, hundreds to thousands of new fossil species, ranging from insects to dinosaurs, are also discovered each year.

With less than 1% of prehistoric life estimated to be represented in the fossil record, each new fossil discovery is important and contributes to our understanding of past life. However, in one of my recent studies with professor Judy Massare (SUNY College at Brockport, New York, US), we question the practice of naming new fossil species on the basis of fragmentary material.

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