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Re: Percentage of species/fossil ratio?



In a message dated 96-08-08 05:07:22 EDT, slaz@electriciti.com (Steven S.
Lazarus) writes:

> I know that it is a very rare event when dinosaur remains are
> fossilized and survive to be detected by us. Is it possible to
> determine what percentage of dinosaur species are recognized in the
> fossil record? How likely is it that a particular dinosaur species
> will never be known to mankind because none of its remains were
> fossilized and so can never be found? Is there any way to determine
> this? Has anyone ever tried to make an estimate of this kind?

In the first printing of _Mesozoic Meanderings_ #2, I estimated that the
preservation bias is between 75% and 90%; that is, we will >never< know
between 3/4 and 9/10 of the dinosaur species that have ever existed. There
are several ways of arriving at this estimate. I can e-mail you the text of
that part of _MM_ #2 if you'd like to know my reasoning.