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Dinosaur Diversity



L N writes:
 > I am working on correlating the extent of rock outcrops of
 > terrestrial sediments of the Jurassic and Cretaceous with diversity
 > curves of the dinosauria during this period. Does anyone know of
 > the most up to date electronic database for the diversity of the
 > dinosauria? Perhaps with additional data on the country/countries
 > of origin for each species?? And who I need to contact to obtain
 > access?

Well, there's this --

        Taylor, Michael P.  2006.  Dinosaur diversity analysed
        by clade, age, place and year of description.
        pp. 134-138 in Paul M. Barrett and Susan E. Evans
        (eds.), Ninth international symposium on Mesozoic
        terrestrial ecosystems and biota, Manchester,
        UK. Cambridge Publications.  Natural History Museum,
        London, UK.  187 pp.

which you can download from:
        
http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/dino/pubs/taylor2006/Taylor2006-dinosaur-diversity.pdf

There is a big problem with dinosaur diversity databases.  Several
researchers have their own such databases (I can think of half a dozen
off the top of my head) which is an absurd duplication of effort.  But
in my bitter experience, if you use any publicly available database,
editors and reviewers are likely to complain about your using
"Internet sources", something that many academics still seem to fear
to a quite irrational review.  I've had a manuscript rejected without
review because of its use of a database available on the Internet.

Afew years back I had grand plans for solving this once and for all by
providing a universally available Internet-hosted database in which
each entry would be be by a stated author and would have to be
reviewed by two other registered authors before it became available.
But other projects have overtaken that since then, and I can't summon
up enough energy to write the software.

Sorry that this is not what you want to hear.  Believe me, no-one
knows better than I how stupid the current situation is.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Scientists nearly all the time [...] have the assumption that
         all religion is silly superstition.  That all religious belief
         is stuff you've got to cure yourself of, get rid of, if you're
         going to be a good scientist.  Noooooooo." -- Robert Bakker.