A refined modelling approach to assess the influence of sampling on palaeobiodiversity curves: new support for declining Cretaceous dinosaur richness

Biology Letters
Graeme T Lloyd

Abstract

Modelling has been underdeveloped with respect to constructing palaeobiodiversity curves, but it offers an additional tool for removing sampling from their estimation. Here, an alternative to subsampling approaches, which often require large sample sizes, is explored by the extension and refinement of a pre-existing modelling technique that uses a geological proxy for sampling. Application of the model to the three main clades of dinosaurs suggests that much of their diversity fluctuations cannot be explained by sampling alone. Furthermore, there is new support for a long-term decline in their diversity leading up to the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event. At present, use of this method with data that includes either Lagerstätten or 'Pull of the Recent' biases is inappropriate, although partial solutions are offered.

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Sep 6, 2012·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Peter J MayhewAlistair J McGowan
Jun 24, 2011·Biology Letters·Roger B J Benson, Philip D Mannion
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Related Concepts

Biological Evolution
Fossils
Paleontology
Sampling Error
Dinosaurs
Biodiversity
Phosphatidylglycerols

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