Posted: Jun 20, 2019 6:18 am
by Spearthrower
theropod wrote:What I find interesting in all this is the fact that we have more complete, and better preserved, Tyrannosaurus rex skulls than some of our hominid cousins. What about this fascinates me? The millions of years separating them. Apparently our older relatives either were not very numerous, and or did not die in settings favorable to fossilization. Presevational bias may be playing a role here as well. A dead hominid would be much easier to scavenge than a multi ton theropod. My paleontologist mind sees a “problem” that needs solving.

RS



There are many forms of preservational bias, I would say. There are the obvious ones, like whether the species lived in a biome that is suitable for fossilization - something that disfavours a lot of primate fossil preservation - but there's also another bias in size differences; the larger the bone, the more likely it is to survive in-tact the period between its organism's death and the beginning of mineralization.