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Re: How much does a dino weigh?
<You can calculate/guesstimate the weight of an organism, from the depth of
its trackway. Lots of integral calculus occurs here, and you need a
topographic map of the animal. You need to know the sediment compaction
rate/time, as well as the sedimentology/mineralogy,
porosity and permeability, and grain shape. Some things are standards. Grind
and chug. Estimation of organism weight comes out at the end. We do it with
This might also be a way to confirm the physical model guesstimates, with no
need to surprise crocs with tape measures like a nervous tailor or hoist
them into hammocks hung from the scales of justice.
(Can I watch?)
I'm assuming that you know the trackmaker's species and your trackway is
long enough to allow you to measure stride. Particularly for 4 footed
beasties, the stride should produce an estimate of at least some of the
dimensions of their bodies. If you ratioed an estimate from a model to the
size of the animal whose weight you've been able to estimate and whose
stride you've measured, you'd be able to come up with a documented amount of
Of course, individuals vary, so you'd need a lot of different examples to
produce a standard error from the physical model, but this certainly sounds
like a productive approach.
What'd I miss?
I did guess your expertise from your observations. As Sherlock puts it:
<... As to your practice, if a gentleman walks into my rooms smelling of
iodoform, with a black mark of nitrate of silver upon his right forefinger,
and a bulge on the right side of his top-hat to show where he has secreted
his stethoscope, I must be dull, indeed, if I do not pronounce him to be an
active member of the medical profession.">
Your vocabulary and your own two hats have named you.
I do wonder about Watson's darkened right forefinger. From the Columbia
<It [silver nitrate] is used in medicine in the treatment of eye infections
and gonorrhea. Fused silver nitrate is also called lunar caustic. Taken
internally silver nitrate is a poison. It is prepared by reaction of nitric
acid with silver, and purified by recrystallization. It is darkened by
sunlight or contact with organic matter such as the skin.>
Guess this may remain Watson's private Sumatra Rat.