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RE: How much does a dino weigh?
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
> Mike Taylor
> > So, errors of 25% might not be unexpected for mass calculations on
> > good specimens, and much greater for incomplete forms.
> Wow. I'm amazed that the error is so small. I suppose I'm thinking
> particularly of the various Brachiosaurus mass estimates, which seem
> to vary from 80 tonnes (Colbert 1962) all the way down to 32 tonnes
> (Greg Paul, Anderson et al.) The geometric mean of these is a neat 50
> tonnes, so we're talking about a variation of about 60% _either side_
> of that!
> Any idea what's going on here?
Yeah: the models some people used were crap. Tom's Rule Number One in
dinosaur restorations: if you can't fit the skeleton inside the model, the
model is wrong.
> > Of course, the real test for this would be taking a number of
> > skeletons of different modern taxa from individuals whose life mass
> > was known, then estimating the mass from the skeleton, then
> > comparing these estimates to the known mass.
> Yes yes yes!
> > As you might imagine, this would be a sizable and time-consuming
> > effort. Nevertheless, it would give some statistical idea as to the
> > expected accuracy of mass calcuations based on fossil bones.
> And no-one has done this? Quick, get this man some funding!
Hey, I've got other stuff to do!!
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796