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Re: Swimming mammoths and climate change

In a message dated 96-04-08 21:46:39 EDT, you write:

>Actually, this can be easily refuted.  I don't have the author's name on me,
>but in a paper in the Journal of Biogeography in their early years, an
>ecologist cited and document the very good swimming ability of elephantids.
>(Part of their tethythere heritage?).  Indian elephants habitually swim off
>the mainland to islands several kilometers out to sea in search of food.
>He did compare this to the mammoths off of the California coast, and showed
>that the distances they would have to swim were comparable to those that
>Elephas maximus does today.

Ok. I too had heard a vague reference to elephantoid swimming abilities and
do not doubt that. I guess what I have a problem with is how far they had to
swim, prevailing currents etc., and in the case of Catalina, _sharks_.  I
think that it may be safe to assume that since the Catalina Island area is a
_favorite_ hunting ground gor the Great White (Charcharodon? sp?) that any of
it's ancient relative may have also found this area a good hunting ground as
well. And a couple or even single plodding pachyderms in shark infested
waters would spell instant meal! Just some speculation...

Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies