From Denver, at a meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
The dramatic surge in dinosaur discoveries that paleontologists have been enjoying in recent years won't soon abate, a new analysis suggests.
As of 1990, when the first edition of a comprehensive reference book entitled The Dinosauria (David B. Weishampel, Peter Dodson, and Halszka Osmolska, eds., University of California Press: Berkeley) was published, scientists had described dinosaurs representing about 285 genera. Since then, paleontologists have been on a roll, describing at least one species from each of another 222 genera, says Peter Dodson of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Rates of discovery have soared in the past half century, he notes. Before 1969, scientists averaged about 12 new dinosaur genera per decade. Since 1990, they've made finds at more than 10 times that rate, says Dodson. In both 2001 and 2003, paleontologists published journal articles on