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[Text Last Updated: June 27,
1995]

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Further, his argument rests on Kazmaier's performance being an absolute limit, beyond which no animal in 1g can function at all (let alone "well"). From Ted's web page:Newsgroups: alt.fan.publius,alt.fan.splifford,talk.origins Subject: Re: Ted's theories--fatal flaws 1. Date: 21 Apr 1995 11:59:59 -0400 Message-ID: <medved.798479550@access1> [...] some limit imposed by the design of a particular organism, at which that organism ceases to function well [...] For graviportal creatures such as elephants and sauropods, that limit is now around 12000 - 15000 lbs (again, I have now come across at least one source which cites the Smithsonian specimen at 12000); it used to be 100 - 200 tons.

How heavy can an animal still get to be in our world, then? How heavy would Mr. Kazmaier be at the point at which the square-cube problem made it as difficult for him just to stand up as it is for him to do 1000 lb. squats at his present size of 340 lb.? The answer is simply the solution to:But Ted both overplays the masses of the largest known sauropods, and underplays the masses of the largest known elephants. In fact, there are several elephants that are very likely outperforming Kazmaier.1340/340^.667 = x/x^.667or just under 21,000 lb.. In reality, elephants do not appear to get quite to that point. McGowan (DINOSAURS, SPITFIRES, & SEA DRAGONS, p. 97) claims that a Toronto Zoo specimen was the largest in North America at 14,300 lb., and Smithsonian personnel once informed the author that the gigantic bush elephant specimen which appears at their Museum of Natural History weighed around 8 tons.

To start with, 12,000 lbs is *average* mass for
an adult African bull elephant, not the maximum. The graph
in [NHotAE], page
179, and the tables on 181 make this quite clear. Further,
in [E&TH], similar
population studies show exactly the same thing, summarized
on page 188.

But the question is how big do elephants get? The studies of population statistics from [E&TH] and [NHotAE] don't purport to search for the largest; they merely show that the average is 12,000 lbs or so. For the largest, you need to use sources that pursue individual cases. Though in passing, note that [GALE] gives 5000,7500 kilograms as the range of size of adult African bull elephants (about 11,000 to 16,500 lbs).

For individual elephants, including the Smithsonian elephant Ted refers to above, I found detailed accounts in [AF&F]. The elephant was shot in Angola, and weight wasn't taken on-site. But detailed body measurements were taken, and Wood says in [AF&F]

The weight was estimated at 10886 kg, or 10.7 tonne (24,000 lb), which seems reasonable for an elephant of this size.We can cross-check this estimate against the shoulder size measures from the statistical formulae in [E&TH] page 188. [AF&F] gives the shoulder measurement as 401 cm. The measurement method is described in appendix A of [E&TH], which matches the description in [AF&F]; also [NHotAE] lists 401.3 cm as the shoulder measure again matching data from [AF&F]. And [E&TH] gives an estimation formula as W(kg) = 0.000306 * H(cm)^(2.890), with correlation coefficient of 0.990, so we simply plug and chug:

0.000306 * 401^(2.890) ~= 10205 kg ~= 22,500 lbswhich agrees reasonably closely. (The [E&TH] cites seasonal and other variances of 10% or so, which is the size ofwhat we're seeing here.) We can also cross check this formula against other independent cases where actual weight measures were done directly, eg, McGowan's report above from [DS&S] had measurements of 340 cm and 6500 kg, and the [AF&F] estimator would predict 6334 kg. So we can have reasonable confidence in the estimations.

Further, the Smithsonian elephant is ( quoting [AF&F]) "The largest accurately measured African bush elephant on record". But they also list several other elephants in the same size range:

Dhululamithi 384 cm ~= 9000 kg ~= 19,800 lbs 1960vanderByl 383 cm ~= 8900 kg ~= 19,600 lbs 1875Alfred 396 cm ~= 9800 kg ~= 21,600 lbs 1849Oswell 371 cm ~= 8100 kg ~= 17,800 lbs 1839Harris 365 cm ~= 7800 kg ~= 17,200 lbsThese measurements aren't quite as accurate, nor quite as large, but they are

GBR 411 cm ~= 11000 kg ~= 24,250 lbsThe GBR lists 27,000 lbs, which may be a slight overestimate, or might simply reflect use of the more detailed measures they had.

Note that
*three* of these elephants are outperforming
Kazmaier on Ted's Holden
Scale:

Kaz (340+1000)/340^(2/3) = 27.51 1875Alfred 21600/21600^(2/3) = 27.85 Smithsonian 22500/22500^(2/3) = 28.23 GBR 24250/24250^(2/3) = 28.94Just barely outperforming, but outperforming, nevertheless. And not for just a second or two burst: they "walked around all day", as Ted claims ought to be impossible.

And in terms of animals performing beyond the Holden Limit of 27.51 on the Holden scale, elephants can, in fact, carry themselves on two legs. Circus elephants can rise from squatting on their rear legs, with their legs totally doubled, to a "standing" posture, without using their forelimbs at all. In doing this, even a 8,000 lb elephant is outperforming Kazmaier.

So, to sum up,

- 12,000 lbs is about the size of an
*average*adult African bull. - There are at least
*three*specific, documented examples with legitimately estimated masses above 20,000 lbs (including the Smithsonian elephant). *If*the Smithsonian elephant were 12,000 lbs (or even the 16,000 lbs Ted used to claim), it would be extremely emaciated. Go to the Smithsonian. Observe the mounted remains of the beastie. It was NOT a skinny fellow.

I've used terms like "Holden Scale", "Holden Number", and "Holden Limit". So I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I'll tell you all about a scale with a cube and a square.

As seen above, Ted's limit on performance is gotten by taking the mass of a creature performing a lift, accounting for any additional load, and then dividing by a factor representing cross section for isometric scaling. That is,

s = (m*g + l)/m^(2/3)We see that the number "s" is in units of force-per-cross-section. The term m*g is force because of F=ma, l is force by definition, and m^(2/3) represents cross section because m is proportional to linear dimension cubed, so m^(2/3) is a factor of cross section.where

- s - "strength" or what t.o. commentators call the "Holden Number".
- m - the mass of the critter lifting the load
- g - acceleration due to gravity
- l - the load

Ted uses units of lbs for both m and l, present gravity as the unit for g. With those units, we get the Holden Scale for comparing strength. As noted, Kazmaier Himself gets 27.5 or so on this scale, and so this is the Holden Limit.

As seen above, the very largest elephants outperform Kazmaier. But also note that an elephant arising from a squat on its rear two limbs is using at most half of its total available limb extensor cross-section, which would mean 8000/(8000^(2/3)*.5) ~= 40 or well above Kazmaier's performance level, even for a 4-ton elephant.

There is also a report in [GBR] under "strongest primate", of a 100 lb chimp having done a 600 lb deadlift "with ease". Which would be 700/(100^(2/3)) ~= 32.5, which is again quite a bit over the Holden Limit.

Ted dismisses evidence that elephants can get as large as GBR's recordholder, or that other primates can outperform Kazmaier.

From: medved@access3.digex.net (Ted Holden) Message-ID: <31i1iv$3nm@access3.digex.net> [...] The test neither Throop nor anybody else has conducted would involve having the chimp try to carry the 600 lbs around all day long, assuming there is nothing bogus in the original story... [...] From: medved@access3.digex.net (Ted Holden) Message-ID: <3eacfp$14e@access3.digex.net> [...] Bulls--- doesn't improve with age. The GBR numbers are clearly stated to be an estimate (i.e. a wild guess) made by people who didn't really know how big elephants get, concerning one or two elephants which had been shot and were lying there on the jungle floor, and were never weighed. [...]Ted's position seems to be that a chimp isn't close enough to a human to make the comparison valid, but that a sauropod is, and that GBRs quite conservative estimates are invalid (despite the fact that they had a whole carcass to measure), but McGowan's guess as to the ultrasaur's mass is absolutely reliable, despite only a shoulder blade and a couple of vertebrae ever having been found of ultrasaur. In every conceivable way, the elephant data is better than the sauropod data, but Ted rejects the former, and insists on the latter.

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