Monday, July 12, 2010

Gigantic Diversification

2010 has been the Year of the Ceratopsian, certainly, but the lion's share of new named taxa have belonged to the Ceratopsidae--the large-bodied horned dinosaurs. Just for funsies, I'm going to list all the species known in 1995, then list all the species named since then. I think you'll see a massive increase in ceratopsid diversity. Ready? HERE WE GO! I've marked species of uncertain validity with a question-mark.

As of 1995:


Chasmosaurus belli
Chasmosaurus russelli
"Chasmosaurus mariscalensis"
Pentaceratops sternbergi
Anchiceratops ornatus
Arrhinoceratops brachyops
"Diceratops" hatcheri (?)
Torosaurus latus
Torosaurus utahensis
Triceratops horridus
Triceratops prorsus


Centrosaurus apertus
Styracosaurus albertensis
"Styracosaurus" ovatus
Einiosaurus procurvicornis
Achelousaurus horneri
"Monoclonius flexus"
"Monoclonius nasicornis"
Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis
Avaceratops lammersi
"Brachyceratops montanensis"

Since 1995, as of this date:

Agujaceratops mariscalensis
Chasmosaurus irvinensis
Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna
Eotriceratops xerinsularis
Medusaceratops lokki
Mojoceratops perifania
Ojoceratops fowleri
Tatankaceratops sacrisonorum

Pachyrhinosaurus lakusai
Albertaceratops nesmoi
Centrosaurus brinkmani
Diabloceratops eatoni
Rubeosaurus ovatus
Sinoceratops zhuchengensis

Am I forgetting anyone? Even though we've actually lost a few species, and sometimes even genera, since 1995 (Monoclonius, Brachyceratops), and a few have been renamed (Agujaceratops, Rubeosaurus), the Ceratopsidae has, overall, exploded in diversity. Currently, there are 24 more-or-less valid genera (I'm lookin' at you, Nedoceratops) containing a whopping 30 species, unless I'm missing anybody, in which case there are actually MORE. And we're not done yet. There are several yet-to-be-published taxa that I'm personally aware of, and I'm sure my more informed colleagues know of even more. And the year is only half over. A lot more publishing can happen between now and 2011. Let's hope that 2010 continues to deliver more delicious horned dinosaur goodness!


Peter Bond said...

This is quite amazing! The "lumpers" must be freaking out!

nick gardner said...

Nedoceratops is "Diceratops" hatcheri AFAIK.

Albertonykus said...

The paper killing "Torosaurus" (and "Nedoceratops" as well, I heard) just turned up.