Phylogenetic and Taxic Perspectives on Sauropod Diversity

Paul Upchurch and Paul M. Barrett

in The Sauropods

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780520246232
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932333 | DOI:
Phylogenetic and Taxic Perspectives on Sauropod Diversity

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This chapter explores the taxic and phylogenetic estimates of sauropod diversity. It specifically provides the alternative estimates of sauropod lineage diversity and evaluates the implications of these diversity patterns for the understanding of sauropod evolutionary history and sampling biases. The advantages and disadvantages of taxic diversity estimate (TDE) and phylogenetic diversity estimate (PDE) are explained. The impact of sampling biases might be evaluated by determining whether the opportunities to observe/collect specimens have remained approximately evenly distributed across time. Down-weighting strategies do not offer any real benefits, and in some cases such approaches will be more misleading than a simple equally weighted strategy. Sauropod diversity fluctuated considerably during their evolution, with major radiations occurring during the Middle and Late Jurassic. It is also clear that the sauropod fossil record has been affected by sampling biases, most notably in the early part of the Middle Jurassic and the Turonian-Coniacian.

Keywords: sauropod diversity; evolutionary history; sampling biases; taxic diversity estimate; phylogenetic diversity estimate; fossil; Jurassic; phylogenetic estimate; taxic estimate

Chapter.  11688 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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