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Re: [dinosaur] How many end-Cretaceous dinosaur genera were there

Of those 5,416 species of mammals, about 75% of them are a bird or bat, i.e. 
small bodied animals that don’t have particularly good parallels among 
non-avian dinosaurs. The best cross-comparison to those taxa among dinosaurs 
would be the small-bodied dinosaur radiation (paravians, of which most are 
birds). My understanding is that the Jean Le Loeuff estimate is for non-avian 
dinosaurs, only (though I’ll have to check). If that is the case, then a better 
rough comparison would probably be with the 25% of mammals that are not rodents 
or bats (which is still a bit dodgy, because many of them are other small 
bodied things like Eulipotyphlans etc). 

So, being generous, that’s about 1,354 species of mammals that are roughly 
cross-comparable (assuming we think living mammal diversity is a good guide to 
expected dinosaur diversity, which it might not be). That is moderately, but 
not exceptionally, outside the maximum dinosaur species estimate from Le Loeuff 
(which, of course, should be taken to have significant error margins on it).

Species diversity estimates for dinosaurs are typically not based on an 
assumption that we have a complete (or even near complete) sampling of faunas, 
but rather on specific models of how incomplete the sample is likely to be. The 
Le Loeuff model may be on the conservative end of that spectrum.


Michael Habib, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cell and Neurobiology
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
Bishop Research Building; Room 403
1333 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles 90089-9112

Research Associate, Dinosaur Institute
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

(443) 280-0181

> On Dec 3, 2016, at 9:21 PM, Ruben Safir <ruben@mrbrklyn.com> wrote:

> According to Mammal Species of the World, 5,416 species were known in
> 2006. These were grouped in 1,229 genera, 153 families and 29 orders
> from wikipedia...
> and I bet that is a severe underestimate of the number of mammal species
> alive today.
> I have no idea how they get 628 to 1076 but if it is based on the
> thought that we have anything near a complete image of the fauna from 70
> million years ago (after a comet smashed a huge hole into the earths
> crust the size of the midwest), then I think you need to reconsider.
> and who said birds weren't to count as dinosaurs.  think about how many
> species were discovered just since you have entered the field.  And you
> have lost whole continents.
>>> --Mike
>>> Sent from my Cybernetic Symbiote
>>>> On Dec 3, 2016, at 7:18 PM, Ruben Safir <ruben@mrbrklyn.com> wrote:
>>>>> On 12/03/2016 10:12 PM, john-schneiderman@cox.net wrote:
>>>>> I am not aware of any current world-wide census of terminal late 
>>>>> Cretaceous Dinosaur genus/species. But there is an estimate of between 
>>>>> 628 and 1076 dinosaur species existed prior to the K-Pg event. I'm 
>>>>> referencing the study by Jean Le Loeuff
>>>> Does that make sense?  How many bird species are there today?
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