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Re: Cursorial adaptations (was T.rex and elephants)



Dann Pigdon writes:
> But surely these are all examples at a reasonably small scale.
> Do the same rules apply when you scale things up? Which is the fastest,
> a giraffe or a rhino? Giraffes have hyper-elongated legs which,
> appart from being useful in feeding, are quite a hinderance. They can
> barely reach the ground to drink, and their slow loping run seems
> slower than the top speed of a rhino, which has much more robust
> looking limbs. I remember reading somewhere that the rhino body plan
> is essentially what you would get if you scaled up an antelope to
> several tonnes.

According to the_National Geographic Book of Mammals_, the Indian rhino may
charge at 30 miles (48 km) per hour.  The same source states that, although
giraffes typically lope along at 10 miles (16 km) per hour, they can run as
fast as 35 miles (56 km) per hour.  Neither animal can maintain these top
speeds for long.  An intriguing comparison between two very different body
plans.

Ralph Miller III <gbabcock@best.com>