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Re[2]: Looking for leaves and grass at sea?

>Elephants love to swim, love water, and most zoologists know 
>this very well.

I guess my point was missed.  Let me try it again:

I know that elephants love water, and can swim.  There's a neat TV 
commercial playing recently that shows several elephants swimming.  A lot 
of animals swim.

I just don't think the normal response to a shortage of food is to jump 
into the ocean and start swimming.  Therefore, I suspect there is more to 
the story.  For example, perhaps during the last glacial advance, when at 
one point sea level was over 400 feet lower than it is today, elephantids 
could walk across to Catalina.  As sea level rose, at first they could 
wade across. Then they had to swim a few hundred feet, then a mile, etc.  
Now they swim 20-30 miles, knowing there food will be there when they 
arrive.  If the same elephantids were transported to the wrong coast of 
Australia, I doubt they would set out to sea looking for food.  In other 
words, this is not an elephantids "normal" response to being hungry.  I 
think it requires a history tied to geology and climate.

I forgot how this thread got started.  Is any of this pertinent?

Norman R. King                                       tel:  (812) 464-1794
Department of Geosciences                            fax:  (812) 464-1960
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712                      e-mail:  nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu