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Re: Number of dinosaurs



In a message dated 95-10-03 21:01:21 EDT, pwillis@ozemail.com.au (Paul
Willis) writes:

>I am currently working my way through Dave Carlisles' _Dinosaurs, Diamonds
>and dust from outerspace_ and up crops a claim that I have seen before but
>I question its validity. The cliam in question is that, at any one time,
>there were as few as 25 dinosaur species and no more than one hundred. Dave
>aludes to research that has been done to this effect but I have not seen
>the original publications.
>
>This seems to be an increadibly low estimate of dino-diversity which,
>gut-feeling tells me, should be around 1,000 species at any one time. Can
>any one comment on this and/or indicate who made the original claims and on
>what basis?
>
>

This comes out of Peter Dodson's work on statistical estimates of dinosaur
diversity from the known dinosaur fossil record. The relevant paper is
"Counting dinosaurs: How many kinds were there?" in _Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, USA 87_: 7608-7612, October 1990. My opinion of
this analysis is summarized in the following quote: "There's lies, damned
lies, and statistics!"