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RE: "running" elephants
> Richard Forrest wrote:
> > There is a problem in considering elephants as models for dinosaur
> > locomotion:
> > A large elephant weighs 5 tons.
As opposed to a gigantic elephant, which weighs 13 I hope not metric tons.
> > A large sauropod dinosaur weighed 80 tons - 16 times the weight.
Well, maybe considerably less. Now with all the air sacs the densities
used to calculate all those weights are questionable.
> > To model the locomotion of a sauropod dinosaur on that of an elephant
> > on comparable top modelling the locomotion of an elephant from
> > something weighing about 300 kilos - a small horse, or a cow - which
> > can do all sorts of things elephants can't.
On the other hand... to model the locomotion of an adult elephant on that
of a 100 kg newborn elephant is not that bad AFAIK. (I'm not sure if young
elephants just manage to gallop, though. I've seen photos that may show
the one in the zoo of Vienna galloping...)
> IF elephants use a bouncing (biomechanically running) gait, such as
> Groucho running (a bouncing gait with more flexed limbs), the principle
> applicable to dinosaurs would be that even large dinosaurs might have
> been able to extend their range of locomotor performance by using a
> similar mechanism.
Now I am using elephants as a model for dinosaur locomotion... but
considering the permanently flexed legs of even *Tyrannosaurus*, wouldn't
it automatically have used such a bouncing gait above normal walking
> We were a little surprised to find hints that elephants bounce, as
> we did not think that was a mechanism open to huge animals,
Looks like elephants simply aren't huge in absolute terms. :^)
Anyway, congratulations for that research!
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