Species diversity varies with latitude. Almost all marine sedimentary rock in the Paleozoic of Europe and North America was deposited in the tropics, whereas only 24% was deposited in these latitudes during Mesozoic and Tertiary time. A new plot of species diversity through the Phanerozoic takes into account the paleolatitudinal distribution of marine sedimentary rock. This plot indicates that the Permian witnessed the acme of species diversity prior to the Cretaceous, and that the Triassic recovery following the end-Permian extinction was much less pronounced than suggested by previous studies.

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