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A surfeit of theropods in the Moroccan Late Cretaceous? Comparing diversity estimates from field data and fossil shops

Alistair J. McGowan and Gareth J. Dyke
A surfeit of theropods in the Moroccan Late Cretaceous? Comparing diversity estimates from field data and fossil shops
Geology (Boulder) (September 2009) 37 (9): 843-846

Abstract

An unusually high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous theropod dinosaurs has been reported from the Moroccan Late Cretaceous Kem Kem Formation, a well-known package of North Africa vertebrate fossil-bearing sediments. We investigate whether recorded proportions of predator and prey taxa in Kem Kem sediments are real, or an artifact generated by collecting biases, by comparing field data to counts of fossil vertebrates from Moroccan fossil shops. The application of common techniques for standardizing ecological survey data confirms that previous workers have been misled by the acquisition by museums of specimens from commercial collectors rather than from detailed field surveying. Claims that an unusual number of theropod dinosaurs were present in North Africa Late Cretaceous ecosystems are likely the result of biases due to both commercial activity and collectorship biases.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 37
Serial Issue: 9
Title: A surfeit of theropods in the Moroccan Late Cretaceous? Comparing diversity estimates from field data and fossil shops
Affiliation: Leibniz Institute for Research on Biodiversity and Evolution, Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany
Pages: 843-846
Published: 200909
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 27
Accession Number: 2009-088606
Categories: Vertebrate paleontologyStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N03°02'60" - N03°03'10", W04°50'60" - W04°49'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University College Dublin, IRL, Ireland
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200948
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