Shape of Mesozoic dinosaur richness

David E. Fastovsky, Yifan Huang, Jason Hsu, Jamie Martin-McNaughton, Peter M. Sheehan, David B. Weishampel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The richness of Mesozoic Dinosauria is examined through the use of a new global database. Mesozoic dinosaurs show a steadily increasing rate of diversification, in part attributable to the development of new innovations driving an increasing variety of behavioral strategies. The data do not suggest that dinosaurs were decreasing in richness leading to extinction during the last ∼10 m.y. of the Cretaceous. Refinement of the dating of dinosaur fossils, rather than the collection of more dinosaurs, is the best way to resolve globally the rate of the Cretaceous-Tertiary dinosaur extinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-880
Number of pages4
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Dinosaurs
  • Diversity
  • Mesozoic
  • Rarefaction
  • Richness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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