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Re: Animal speeds

At 07:32 AM 9/29/97 +1000, you wrote:
>There has been much controversy over the top speeds of
>animals over the years. No-one can seem to agree on just how fast
>a cheetah is, and although more recent attempts claim to have a
>definitive answer, well, we've heard that before.

No, we haven't.

Previous "maximum speeds" are extrapolations in the field from speedometers.
Almost no variables were controlled.  They were little better than guesses.

The study in question were timed studies on a course of known length.
Variables were controlled.  These numbers represent real data.

Granted, they might have had a slow cheetah, or it had an off day, or such,
but it is a much, MUCH more reliable figure than those published in field books.

The same goes for elephant speed data: the classic field values are not
tested, and are suspect.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661