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Five laws derived from fossil data describe the relationships between species extinction and longevity, species richness, origination rates, extinction rates and diversification. These laws are crucial to the study of evolution and ecology.
Species richness increases with area sampled, potentially confounding biodiversity patterns from the fossil record. Here, the authors standardize spatial sampling to control for this bias and show that terrestrial vertebrate diversification was bounded during the Mesozoic but that equilibria were reset following the K/Pg extinction.