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For what it's worth, I've had to play around with mass estimates for
large sauropods for the in-press supersaur paper, and Greg's sauropod
mass estimates have held up pretty well.
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
110 Carter Ranch Rd.
Thermopolis, WY 82443
(800) 455-3466 ext. 230
Cell: (307) 921-8333
Sent: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 6:55 PM
Subject: Re: Precision
The way to determine what mass estimates are correct for a given
easy enought. Simply treat my mass estimates as though they are those
Since there aren't any of those anyway one might as well.
Take Brachiosaurus, specifically the mounted SII. The old ~80 tonne
estimates were based on a commercial model that was inaccurate,
probably not the correct scale either. The skeletal restoration
Janensch is also overly large, especially in the length of the dorsal
for the mounted specimen, in which the actual and fragile dorsals were
by plaster models that are too long. Judging from careful a skeletal
restoration based on the actual remains the mass could not have been
and very probably under 40 t, my restoration has it around 32 t. There
bones in the collections that are larger than the mounted skeleton. So
probably are heavier individuals known. But we have to be careful. The
of individual bones relative to mass can very a substantial amount, so
a femur is say 10% longer than another it does not establish that the
femur came from the heavier individual, or even if it is heavier, that
by 10% cubed. Using skull dimensions is especially unreliable. The only
really compare the mass of individuals is if a reasonable amount of the
skeleton is available.
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