Re: Hubey numbers

David Froehlich (
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 11:14:24 -0500

On 20 Oct 1995, H. M. Hubey wrote:
I will play your silly game.
If we are going to argue verbiage then what does affinity mean????

> elephants 80-90
?Elephants live in savannahs, deserts (the Namib), forests, rain forests
how can ypou place a single number on all of these behaviors? Elephants
spend 80-90 % of their time in water?
> hippos 100
Hippos forage on land, pretty much all night. 100???
> lions 40-50
> humans ???
> gorillas 40-50
> pigs 80-90
> sea otters 100
here we can agree mostly, sea otters almost never get onto land
> polar bears 80-90
They spend a considerable time on land (and also they are the most
quadrupedal of the bears interestingly enough)
> dogs 60??
> penguins 80-90
> sheep 40-50
> camels 10-20
> ???? (mouse) 0-5

What about lemmings? 100???

> I rated hippos, penguins and sea otters the highest; they could
> have been rated at around 95-100, I guess, etc etc.
There is a vast difference in how each of these animals deal with their
habitats. Placing a single number is an excercise in numbers and I doubt
bears much resemblance to what they are doing

> The numbers could be moved around but I think the ranking would
> pretty much stay. I see a pattern. It's that simple. Bears
> are much more bipedal than any of the other predator animals
> on the list.
I thought sea otters were carnivores?
What about other carnivores that aren't bipedal (e.g. mongeese (remember
meerkats?), pinipeds, otters)

> Penguins are more bipedal than other birds.
All birds are bipedal, it is a plesiomorphic feature from their ancestors
the theropod dinosaurs. But, I would argue that the penguins are very
poor bipeds and that the ostrich (a savannah animal????) is one of the best.

> Elephants, hippos and pigs are more naked than other animals
> of the type. It's easy enough to see. There's a correlation.
> Is it causal? If analogical reasoning always works then
> why not here? The question is simple enough.

Even given that your premise is correct (which I do not) maybe the
causality is in the other direction? They are naked, so they like to
cool off in the water.

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712