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Re: Swimming mammoths and climate change
Thomas R. Lipka sez:
>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...
Charcharodon charcharis is the great white, C. megalodon is the (Cretaceous?)
Giant White (see the lovely silhouette at the Smithsonian, it's HUGE).
I recall reading in a book aimed at young adults (gotta keep the reading
skills up) an illustration of a herd of elephants crossing a river,
snorkeling with their trunks. I think they can swim pretty fast too. The
herd (pod?) of swimmers might be less vulnerable to attack, although I'm not
sure how often great whites attack large prey (orcas, on the other hand, will
take on larger animals in packs). The problem does develop, however, when a
feeding frenzy starts and the pachyderms are far from shore.
Of course, it only takes a few herds to populate an island.
Jonathan R. Wagner