Friday, June 17, 2005

Supersized! Why Were Things So BIG!?

This is also another journal entry of mine written days ago. It's one of my favorites, and maybe y'all can think on the answer(s) and come up with a few. I'd really like to know what your minds come up with.

The Mastadon

An Archelon, the world's largest(?) sea turtle


I have one question: Why were things so BIG in prehistoric times?

Even the bison back then were HUGE! I tried finding a picture of one like the Archelon, but all I came up with were pictures of cave art and today's smaller version. From the hoof to the shoulder bone, the distance measured seven feet! (I remember this from the exhibit at Idaho's Museum of Natural History on ISU's campus when I went with a class once.) So, knowing this, just imagine the horn span!

The Archelon picture is of the sea turtle from Thanksgiving Point. As you can see, it's suspended from zee ceiling of the Museum of Ancient Life. It's near the doorway to the sealife exhibit, and let me tell you, entering that room sitting in a wheelchair, with that thing leaning forward as if it was gonna swoop down on ya...yyyeeaahh, you wanna dive out of the way!

And, apparently the Megalodon, by the way which gave me the creeps and major gooseflesh just looking at the painted plaster replica of zee head, is said to have been a bigger version of the Great White. Scientists say it was anywhere from 15 to 20-feet-long. But, in 1918, off the coast of New Zealand it was reported that several fisherman saw a shark 30-feet long! That would be good enough to keep me landlocked for a good long while, if I knew that was in the same water with me!

Almost everything back then was supersized, pardon the McDonald's expression. I find it interesting and would love to know why. And why, over many, many, many years of evolution the species that survived became smaller. Was it so man could have easier dominion over the plant and animal kingdoms? Really, those answers would be sweet to know.

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
~Frank Herbert~


At 6:27 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Now that's a fascinating question and I must admit, Shiloh, I haven't a clue! Is there an answer or is it one of those things scientists are pondering and haven't solved yet? Don't know! Shopuld we ask Jeeves?

Have you ever read any books by Madeline L'Engle? She wrote one called, I think, Many Waters. It was a time travel thing with twin brothers going way back in time. A character they met had a pet that was being treated poorly an it turned out to be one of the last mastodons, shrunk down to doggie size. Really tickled me! :-)

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Shiloh said...

I've read A Wrinkle In Time by her and wantto get the entire series. I love when life stimulates these type of questions. Even though I'm sick of the classroom and homework, I haven't lost my zest for learning.

At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, modern Great White Sharks can grow to be 20+ feet, and Megaladon is theorized to be as large as 52 feet (and larger as more finds indicate bigger specimens)!


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