[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Amphicoelias fragillimus (gigantic sauropod) size overestimated? (free pdf)



Isn’t the most likely explanation that “1500 m” was a typo for “1500 mm”? “m” 
was certainly a typo for “mm”. To posit a second typo in the number, as well, 
strains credulity.

Jerry Alpern
AMNH Volunteer Tour Guide
vjalp@mindspring.com

On Dec 16, 2014, at 11:46 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:

> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> 
> I received a short note from the author of the paper indicating that
> the version of the paper published in Volumina Jurassica was not the
> intended final proper version. The paper was not meant to be published
> as it appeared. Stay tuned...
> 
> On Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 12:19 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Ben Creisler
>> bcreisler@gmail.com
>> 
>> Some quick thoughts on a very rough set of calculations based on Cope's 
>> article.
>> 
>> 
>> Page dimensions at the time for the American Naturalist were 8.5 x 5.5
>> inches, based on my own calculations from photocopied pages I have of
>> other articles from the journal (can't find my photocopy of this
>> particular article, however) and the product dimensions give on Amazon
>> for older issues:
>> 
>> http://www.amazon.com/The-American-naturalist-Volume-40/dp/B00428L9EC
>> 
>> Cope's drawing, indicated as being 1/10th natural size:
>> 
>> http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/41316697#page/574/mode/1up
>> 
>> 
>> Cope's drawing of the estimated size of entire vertebra looks very
>> roughly about 7.5 inches on the displayed page in the Biodiversity
>> Heritage page (which may have been slightly cropped).  He states that
>> the drawing is 1/10th natural size, making the estimated full size
>> about ~75 inches or ~6.3 ft (1.9 m). This is not grossly off Cope's
>> estimate of "not less than six feet and probably more"  for the total
>> height of the vertebra in life.
>> 
>> If someone has the publication itself at hand or a photocopy of the
>> original in its original scale, they can improve on this.
>> 
>> The proportions of the depicted fossil material to Cope's estimated
>> total life size are very roughly about 1 to 1.55.  The stated length
>> of 1500 mm for the preserved portion would result in a total estimated
>> height of 2.3 m (7.7 ft), which seems at odds with the 1/10th scale
>> for the drawing.
>> 
>> A much better match would be a length of 1200 mm. That makes 1.55
>> times the preserved fossil length 1860 mm (1.86 m)  (73 in/ 6 ft),
>> very close to the 1.83 Woodruff attributes to Cope and closer to the
>> 1/10th scale of the drawing and Cope's "six feet" estimate in the
>> text.
>> 
>> 1050 mm for the preserved fossil material times 1.55 would make the
>> estimated full length 1627 mm or 1.6 meters (5.3 ft). This would seem
>> smaller than the 1/10th natural size for the drawing and the "six
>> feet"  indicated by Cope.
>> 
>> There may have been a typo, but based on Cope's scale for his drawing,
>> it may have been 1500 for 1200 rather than for 1050.
>> 
>> On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:24 PM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Ben Creisler
>>> bcreisler@gmail.com
>>> 
>>> People can read Cope's original description at this link.
>>> 
>>> http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/41316697#page/573/mode/1up
>>> 
>>> On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:04 PM, Mickey Mortimer
>>> <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:
>>>> The irony here is too delicious to not comment on.  Woodruff and Foster 
>>>> propose Amphicoelias fragillimus wasn't so huge, and that the reported 
>>>> neural arch height of 1500 mm in Cope's measurement table was a typo for 
>>>> 1050 mm.  Yet their own measurement table comparing proportions using both 
>>>> sizes has a typo itself!  "Cop’s arch reconstruction"  Good ol' Edward 
>>>> Drinker Cop.  Hilarious.  Not a bad theory though.
>>>> 
>>>> Mickey Mortimer
>>>> 
>>>> ----------------------------------------
>>>>> Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:03:14 -0800
>>>>> From: bcreisler@gmail.com
>>>>> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>>>>> Subject: Fwd: Amphicoelias fragillimus (gigantic sauropod) size 
>>>>> overestimated? (free pdf)
>>>>> 
>>>>> A correction to the citation (wrong page numbers)...
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> D. Cary Woodruff and John R. Foster (2014)
>>>>> The fragile legacy of Amphicoelias fragillimus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda;
>>>>> Morrison Formation – latest Jurassic).
>>>>> Volumina Jurassica 12 (2): 211–220
>>>>> DOI: 10.5604/17313708 .1130144
>>>>> https://www.voluminajurassica.org/volumina/article/view/173/153
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>>> From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
>>>>> Date: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 12:55 PM
>>>>> Subject: Amphicoelias fragillimus (gigantic sauropod) size
>>>>> overestimated? (free pdf)
>>>>> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Ben Creisler
>>>>> bcreisler@gmail.com
>>>>> 
>>>>> A new paper in open access:
>>>>> 
>>>>> D. Cary Woodruff and John R. Foster (2014)
>>>>> The fragile legacy of Amphicoelias fragillimus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda;
>>>>> Morrison Formation – latest Jurassic).
>>>>> Volumina Jurassica 12 (2): 211-220
>>>>> DOI: 10.5604/17313708 .1130144
>>>>> https://www.voluminajurassica.org/volumina/article/view/173/153
>>>>> 
>>>>> In the summer of 1878, American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope
>>>>> published the discovery of a sauropod dinosaur that he named
>>>>> Amphicoelias fragillimus. What distinguishes A. fragillimus in the
>>>>> annals of paleontology is the immense magnitude of the skeletal
>>>>> material. The single incomplete dorsal vertebra as reported by Cope
>>>>> was a meter and a half in height, which when fully reconstructed,
>>>>> would make A. fra
>>>>> initial description Cope never mentioned A. fragillimus in any of his
>>>>> scientific works for the remainder of his life. More than four decades
>>>>> after its description, a scientific survey at the American Museum of
>>>>> Natural History dedicated to the sauropods collected by Cope failed to
>>>>> locate the remains or whereabouts of A. fragillimus. For nearly a
>>>>> century the remains have yet to resurface. The enormous size of the
>>>>> specimen has generally been accepted despite being well beyond the
>>>>> size of even the largest sauropods known from verifiable fossil
>>>>> material (e.g. Argentinosaurus). By deciphering the ontogenetic change
>>>>> of Diplodocoidea vertebrae, the science of gigantism, and Cope’s own
>>>>> mannerisms, we conclude that the reported size of A. fragillimus is
>>>>> most likely an extreme over-estimation.
>>>>