Brusatte and co-authors tracked disparity trends among ankylosaurs, sauropods, hadrosauroids, ceratopsids, pachycephalosaurids, tyrannosauroids and non-avian coelurosaurs during the last 12 million years of the Cretaceous (from the Late Campanian age to the Maastrichtian). There was no simple pattern that held true for all dinosaurs—some groups stayed the same while others declined. The heavily armored ankylosaurs, dome-headed pachycephalosaurs, formidable tyrannosaurs and small, feathery coelurosaurs didn’t seem to show any major changes in disparity over this span. And the massive, long-necked sauropods showed a very slight increase in disparity from the Campanian to the Maastrichtian. Both locally and globally, these dinosaur groups were not dwindling away.
The shovel-beaked hadrosaurs and horned ceratopsids showed different trends. Horned dinosaurs suffered a significant drop in disparity between the Campanian and the Maastrichtian, at least partially attributable to the disappearance of an entire ceratopsid subgroup. During the Campanian, both centrosaurines (like Centrosaurus) and chasmosaurines (like Chasmosaurus) roamed North America, but by the Maastrichtian, only the chasmosaurines were left. And while hadrosaur disparity dipped slightly from a global perspective, the pattern differed between continents. In Asia, hadrosaurs appear to show very slight increases in disparity, but North American hadrosaurs suffered a sharp decline across the 12-million-year study range. What was true for North American dinosaurs was not necessarily true for the rest of the world.