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Re: Re[2]: Swimming mammoths and climate change

> Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 10:09:27 -0400
> From: Tompaleo@aol.com
> To: dinosaur
> Subject: Re: Re[2]: Swimming mammoths and climate change
> Message-ID: <9604101409.AA32463@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu>
> In a message dated 96-04-09 14:14:39 EDT, you write:
> I have seen shows with elephants crossing rivers with just their trunks above
> water but there are no sharks or comparable predators to worry about there
> except maybe a large croc. But scale up your body of water to the size of an
> ocean strait with its strong currents and very capable large predators and I
> think you will see what I mean. To me it just don't add up and 26 miles of
> swimming?!

People keep mentioning Catalina, but all the references I've heard to
the fossil mammoths are on other islands, especially Santa Rosa.   The
crossing is much shorter to Santa Rosa if you island hop your way out
there, especially if the sea level is lower.  Not 26 miles at all.

Can anyone cite an actual reference to mammoths on Catalina?  I
suspect this is a case of mistaken island identity.  If they didn't
make it to Catalina, this may even strengthen the case for swimming
out to Santa Rosa.

> In summary the factors aginst are;
> 1)To far to swim  (26 miles)

Not 26 miles.  Much less.

> 2)Ocean Currents and maritime weather

The weather isn't so bad today.  There are currents, but they aren't that
bad.  I have friends who've taken sea kayaks to both the Channel Islands and
to Catalina.  The biggest hazards are power boats and cargo shipping.

> 3)Sharks and Orcas who's feeding frenzies would take out the entire lumbering
> lot

This has been pretty well refuted by Darren and others....  C'mon.
Show some evidence that this is a *significant* hazard to creatures
other than seals.

And why do you say "lumbering"?  Tom Holtz & others have mentioned many
times that elephants are quite good swimmers.

> 4)Very low survival assuming any reached at all
> 5)Inevitable interbreeding leading to genetic mutation, sterility and
> extinction!

Both of these items assume the crossing was very difficult.

> I still favor some yet to be discovered land bridge. Maybe some paleotctonic
> simulations could be run to see if there were some platform, island chain or
> some other feature could have provided the means. Just slide the two plates
> backwards about 10,000years and start form there.

Slide back 10,000 years???  That's not a lot of time....

> Regards,
> Thomas R. Lipka
> Paleontological/Geological Studies