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RE: Things To Look Forward To - SVP 2005 (Mesa, Arizona, USA) - Part 2



W. F. Zimmerman (wfz@wfzimmerman.com) wrote:

<--this is exactly what one would expect from the fact that crocs have been so
well-adapted over the eons, isn't it?  One would also expect little change in
performance parameters associated with, say, cockroaches ...

-- what would be interesting to look at is whether there has been any
improvement in crocs' sensing capabilities and neurological hardware ... The
jaws are near-perfect weapons "hardware" but it might be just as impressive
that the same basic "detection & attack" software has worked so reliably for
hundreds of millions of years ... That's quite a bit better than we are able to
do with our software, human or computer-based!>

  Actually, it might be arguable that we should expect differential bite
parameters among specialized jaw structures since each of these jaws is
adapting to bite a different thing in a different way. Foxes and coyotes, for
example, apparently have different bite force capabilities, yet both are
Canidae; The whole of Crocodylia may not show that much variation. That said,
this abtract doesn't give us the actual variation statistics, which may show
that precision biting in some crocs versus total-jaw normalization of the bite
force in others may yield the same numbers, yet show distinct variation in jaw
function. Otherwise, why have broader 'gators and narrower croc snouts, not to
mention those other crocodylians, the gharials/gavials? In my opinion, we
should be looking at the broad picture only with sensitivity to the details
(both forest and trees can tell us about the woodland).

  Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


                
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