Re: Bogus Barney

Joe E. Dees (
Tue, 26 May 1998 22:22:34 +0000

> Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 22:06:51 -0400
> From: Michael Lorrey <>
> Organization: Lorrey Systems,
> To:
> Subject: Re: Bogus Barney
> Reply-to:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Are elephants really near the physical limits? Remember that the
> > limits of size of an animal also depends a lot on its geometry; a
> > two-legged creature cannot get as big as a four-legged one, and the
> > way the bones connect play a great role in the strength of the
> > structure.
> >
> > (BTW, it is hard to call dinosaurs a hypothesis, since we do indeed
> > have their sizeable bones)
> AN elephant's bones are near the tolerance limits for those bone designs using
> those bone materials. A Giraffe exerts much more stress on its neck bones than
> an elephant does on any of its own. That a giraffe's neck is engineered like a
> cantilevered truss is much more of a natural engineering feat than the shock
> absorbing capabilities of the elephant. The reason why dinosaurs that we know
> popularly (most were actually quite small) are so big is that they developed at
> a time when all or most of the continents were part of the Pangea super
> continent. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the
> evolved sizes of animals and the size of the land mass which they inhabit. For
> example the wooly mammoth, of which frozen remnants have been found in the
> tundra of Siberia, which was larger than the elephant, and carried much more
> mass in its tusks than current elephants, as it was slowly killed off by post
> ice age man, the last refuges in which its fossils were found to have lived most
> recently ( from what I've heard as recently as 4000 BC) were small islands in
> the arctic ocean north of Finland. As their food supply was restricted by the
> size of their domain as it was cut off from the mainland by rising seas, they
> slowly evolved into a 'mammoth' of only 3 or 4 feet in height.
Also, it should not be forgotten that the larger, brontosaur types
had the same advantage as whales; contrary to Jurrasic Park, their
bulk was buoyed by the water in which they spent most of their
My apologies for my earlier incredulous and sarcastic
response. Living in the buckle of the bible belt has soured me on
anything that seems to smack of fundamentalist narrowmindedness, and
I will attempt to resist further indulgence in the same type of
behavior I abhor. Sincerely, Joe E. Dees

> Michael Lorrey
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
> MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?