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RE: Elephants used to study sauropod tracks

Jocelyn, how can you say that? If elephants might be studying sauropod tracks, 
might that not be THE COOLEST THING EVER? This is bigger than Alex, 
self-concious dolphins/chimps, and indeed any tool use of any bird/non-human 
primate ever!


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

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

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 09:54:26 +0100
> From: j.falconnet@gmail.com
> To: bcreisler@gmail.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Elephants used to study sauropod tracks
> Ben,
> The subject of your mail was a bit misleading. From what I read, I
> thought that elephants studied sauropod tracks in the past, though they
> do not anymore.
> I am quite relieved to see that it was not the case.
> Cheers,
> Jocelyn ^^
> Le 11/11/2012 04:16, Ben Creisler a écrit :
> > From: Ben Creisler
> > bcreisler@gmail.com
> >
> > A new paper not yet mentioned:
> >
> > Brian F. Platt, Stephen T. Hasiotis and Daniel R. Hirmas (2012)
> > Empirical determination of physical controls on megafaunal footprint
> > formation through neoichnological experiments with elephants.
> > PALAIOS 27:. 725-737
> > doi: 10.2110/palo.2012.p12-006r
> > http://palaios.geoscienceworld.org/content/27/10/725.full
> >
> > We performed a series of neoichnological experiments with elephants to
> > investigate the relationship between the various factors involved in
> > controlling megafaunal footprint formation. Our ultimate goal was to
> > provide a means to calculate original sedimentary properties of
> > fossil-footprint-bearing siliciclastic rocks, especially those
> > containing sauropod dinosaur tracks. Previous semiquantitative and
> > model-based research identified multiple variables that influence
> > footprint creation and preservation, but no rigorous, empirically
> > based models have been constructed. We conducted track-making trials
> > with experimental sediments and one adult female African elephant
> > (Loxodonta africana) and one adult female Asian elephant (Elephas
> > maximus) in a zoo setting. Data collected included track dimensions,
> > sediment particle size distribution, sediment bulk density (ρb),
> > volumetric water content of the sediment (θv), and trackmaker walking
> > velocity (v) and weight. We performed multiple regression analysis
> > with a backward elimination technique to obtain the following
> > relationship: where Vn is track volume normalized by track length,
> > measured in cm2, θv is in percent, ρb is measured in g/cm3, and v is
> > measured in m/s. [equatoin] We demonstrate the utility of this
> > equation by calculating the original moisture content of
> > sauropod-track-bearing siltstone and sandstone beds in the Upper
> > Jurassic Morrison Formation. Original water content values are
> > extremely useful for paleoenvironmental and paleohydrological
> > interpretations of sediments and paleosols. Furthermore, paleoclimate
> > studies can benefit greatly from original soil moisture values
> > calculated from megafaunal footprints associated with paleosols.
> >
> --
> "As a Professor of Science, I assure you we did in fact evolve from
> filthy monkey men." Hubert J. Farnworth.