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Wednesday: December 21, 2005

Scientific Puzzle I

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:19 PM UTC

The Hamilton Spector reports that 1200-pound gorillas nearly 10 feet tall once roamed southwest China (þ Deinonychus antirrhopus). The picture is impressive, though a human figure would have helped show the size of the beast, and I wonder about the oddly Chinese facial features. One passage in the story struck me as implausible:

It was a herbivore, feasting mainly on bamboo. It is theorized it became extinct because it came into conflict with man or other animals, such as giant pandas, that lived on bamboo.

What kind of ridiculous theory is that? How could something as (relatively) small and flabby as a panda bear possibly compete with a ten-foot gorilla? Do pandas have a hitherto unsuspected proficiency in martial arts? Or did they run out and gobble up all the bamboo when Kong was asleep? I really don’t see any other way they could have been ‘fit’ enough to survive the theorized competition.

1 Comment

  1. That word “feasting” really rings wrong. It always puts me in mind of some Hare Krisnas I used to know – always inviting me over for a “vegatarian feast” of two types of potatoes, badly prepared.

    Comment by jc — Tuesday: December 27, 2005 @ 3:31 AM UTC

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