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Johan Lindgren

Johan Lindgren

Senior lecturer

Johan Lindgren

Mesozoic marine tetrapod diversity: mass extinctions and temporal heterogeneity in geological megabiases affecting vertebrates

Author

  • Roger B. J. Benson
  • Richard J. Butler
  • Johan Lindgren
  • Adam S. Smith

Summary, in English

The fossil record is our only direct means for evaluating shifts in biodiversity through Earth's history. However, analyses of fossil marine invertebrates have demonstrated that geological megabiases profoundly influence fossil preservation and discovery, obscuring true diversity signals. Comparable studies of vertebrate palaeodiversity patterns remain in their infancy. A new species-level dataset of Mesozoic marine tetrapod occurrences was compared with a proxy for temporal variation in the volume and facies diversity of fossiliferous rock ( number of marine fossiliferous formations: FMF). A strong correlation between taxic diversity and FMF is present during the Cretaceous. Weak or no correlation of Jurassic data suggests a qualitatively different sampling regime resulting from five apparent peaks in Triassic-Jurassic diversity. These correspond to a small number of European formations that have been the subject of intensive collecting, and represent 'Lagerstatten effects'. Consideration of sampling biases allows re-evaluation of proposed mass extinction events. Marine tetrapod diversity declined during the Carnian or Norian. However, the proposed end-Triassic extinction event cannot be recognized with confidence. Some evidence supports an extinction event near the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, but the proposed end-Cenomanian extinction is probably an artefact of poor sampling. Marine tetrapod diversity underwent a long-term decline prior to the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction.

Department/s

  • Lithosphere and Biosphere Science

Publishing year

2010

Language

English

Pages

829-834

Publication/Series

Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

Volume

277

Issue

1683

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Royal Society Publishing

Topic

  • Geology

Keywords

  • extinction
  • marine reptiles
  • mass
  • rock record bias
  • palaeodiversity
  • Mesozoic biodiversity

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1471-2954