Dinosaur Diversity

So, as you may have seen, there’s been a recent flurry of press surrounding a publication by myself, J Tennant and A Chiarenza.

JT has done a far better job of summarising our finds than I could ever hope to do:

So, in brief, as this is technically one of the new purposes of my page, here is what it’s about.


We can estimate how diverse certain groups of organisms have been through different stages of geological history by analysing their fossils records and using some clever statistical techniques. This can, and has, been done for dinosaurs.

There have been criticisms of the methods used, as well as expressions of wariness about the finds of such studies because of things like sampling bias and lack of data. People worry that the patterns that we think we see in the fossil record might be remnant of something other than the actual true diversity of the groups being studied. These patterns are also subject to change with new discoveries and revisions of what we believe certain specimens to be.

What we set out to do was to look at how recent discoveries might have changed the way we see the dinosaur fossil record, and to try and quantify how new discoveries have altered the patterns that we see.

Turns out its a fair bit, and that recent years have seen a major increase in new discoveries, which have the potential, if they continue at such a rate, to significantly alter how we have interpreted the fossil record of dinosaurs at certain periods in the groups history.

Here is a pretty graph




Dr Matthew Grant Baron

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