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Re: Ain't No Mountain Low Enough [elephants don't like steep terrain]
First, thank you all for your feedback on my Southeast Asia query.
I'm still going through the material and will let you know if I have
questions. Ultimately, I want to keep abreast of paleontological
finds in the region and possibly get students there interested. I
sometimes speak to classes of students when I'm in Burma, so one day
perhaps a few of them will start looking for fossils in Burma.
As for elephants, I have to say I don't think this is the final
story. The article only deals with African elephants. I know from
experience riding many elephants in Southeast Asia (including one
ride that lasted 2 days!) that Asian elephants can be extraordinary
climbers (we went up at least one hill far steeper slopes than 43
degrees). The elephants may have done this only because the mahouts
ordered them to, but I was impressed with how well they did climb.
Very surefooted. Even when they were free to roam, they went on
hills. In fact, in parts of the region people still use elephants
extensively for logging (it's tragic to see elephants destroying
their own habitat!) precisely because they can carry logs on hills
that machines cannot access. Of course, Asian elephants are smaller
than African elephants, but not that much. Just an observation.
Dom's Photos: http://homepage.mac.com/freedom4/PhotoAlbum10.html
On Jul 25, 2006, at 10:40 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:
This might have had implications for sauropods as well:
Ain't No Mountain Low Enough
By Briahna Gray
ScienceNOW Daily News
25 July 2006
In his attempt to conquer the western world in 218 B.C.E.,
Carthaginian general Hannibal famously lost all but one of his
elephants while crossing the Alps. A new study may explain why:
Elephants just don't dig climbing.
It may not be much of a surprise that elephants aren't
mountaineers. They weigh an average of 5000 kilograms, after all.
And anecdotal evidence suggests that the pachyderms avoid hills
when they migrate. So Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a geologist and chief
executive of the Save the Elephants charity based in Nairobi,
Kenya, decided to spy on a group of elephants in Northern Kenya.
Over 2 years, Douglas-Hamilton and colleagues tracked 60 elephants
with global positioning technology.
By plotting the routes on topographical maps, they learned that the
pachyderms consistently avoided all slopes with inclines over 43
GIS / Archaeologist http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs