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I'm doing a survey of all valid plesiosaur genera described to date and so far, about 100 valid plesiosaur genera have been described so far. Has there been any published study regarding the estimated generic diversity of plesiosaurs?
DD1991 posted a topic in General Fossil DiscussionIn their paper estimating the number of dinosaur diversity, Wang and Dodson (2006) estimated the generic diversity of non-avialan Mesozoic dinos at 1,844. At the current time of writing, there are 46 valid genera of Triassic dinosaurs, 265 valid genera of Jurassic dinosaurs, and 730 genera of Cretaceous dinosaurs for a grand total of 1041 valid dino genera. That leaves 800 genera left, unless Wang and Dodson overestimated the generic diversity of Late Cretaceous dinos by a few dozen. If we take into account recent research papers revalidating dinosaur genera that are usually tossed off as nomina dubia without comment in both editions of the Dinosauria (e.g. Sanpasaurus, Chuandongocoelurus, Eucamerotus, Aepisaurus, Neosodon), it seems as if the pace of naming new non-avian dinosaurs seems to be picking up a bit. Maybe we found nearly all the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic genera estimated by Wang and Dodson. Only time will tell if Wang and Dodson's estimate for Cretaceous dinosaur diversity is a little bit exaggerated. After all, we can say we found every single genus of dinosaur and completed an inventory of dinosaurs once every formation around the world is completely prospected for dino fossils. Wang, S. C. & Dodson, P. 2006 Estimating the diversity of dinosaurs. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 13 601–13 605. (doi:10.1073/pnas.0606028103)