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Re: Dinosaur counts
From: email@example.com (Glen J. Kuban )
> Anyway, since I monitor the C/E controversy and may write on this
> someday, I thought I would ask here: What does the 775 general count
> recently posted represent? Is that the number of genera ever
Pretty much, yes.
> What is the best estimate of the number of valid
> names (eliminating synonyms, dubia, etc)? An even tougher question
> might be: about how many different or valid *species* are known?
My synonymized list has only about 400 genera, and most of those
are nomina dubia (poorly preserved forms of doubtful value). I
suspect there are between 100 and 150 valid genera of dinosaurs
now *known*, and around 200 valid species.
> Another, perhaps even more speculative question might be: how many
> dinosaur genera/species are likely to have lived in the entire
> mesozoic? ...
However, those numbers are only based on currently *known* forms.
Given the rate of new discovery, and the sparsity of the fossil record,
the actual number of dinosaur species that lived may well be around
ten times this number.
> This will lead of course automatically provide estimates of
> the percentage of dinosaurs that have already been found and the
> percentage remaining to be found.
Actually, one does this the other way around - first estimate the
percentage representation and then use that to estimate the original
number of species.
> Besides helping me with my little
> project above, I suspect there are some teachers in the audience who
> often get questions like this from students, and might be interested in
> the responses.
> Glen J. Kuban
The peace of God be with you.