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Re: New Paper

Jamie Stearns writes:
 > When it comes to _Amphicoelias fragillimus_, I have a rather hard
 > time believing that something so huge could actually exist on land.

But "I have a hard time believing" is not admissable evidence!

The literature is peppered with various Fundamental Size Limits that
people have proposed, based on all sorts of different criteria, and
for all sorts of different critters.  The one thing they have in
common is that the moment they are published, someone finds a fossil
bigger than the predicted limit :-)

 > As I recall, it has been thought that such an animal might be
 > physiologically impossible.

_A lot_ of things have been thought :-)

 > And so I was wondering: Is it more likely, perhaps, that Cope
 > exaggerated the dimensions of his find, at the very least? He would
 > have a good reason for doing so (outdoing Marsh) and it might be
 > all too convenient that the vertebra was reported to be extremely
 > fragile and thus would not be available for examination. I think
 > there are some other people who have thought along these lines
 > before regarding _A. fragillimus_, but I thought I'd throw this out
 > there.

Ken covered these possibilities in the paper.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "I can't believe I wrote this" -- Henry Spencer, in the
         documentation for "awf", an awk implementation of nroff.