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The Case of the Shrinking Moose

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:43 pm
by Grandpa
This article about a study of Isle Royale moose skeletons appeared in the latest issue of National Parks magazine:
https://www.npca.org/articles/1773-the- ... king-moose

Re: The Case of the Shrinking Moose

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:38 pm
by Grandpa
The current issue of "National Parks" magazine (Summer, 2018) has a letter to the editor that provides a counterpoint to the article in the previous edition (Spring, 2018) regarding the shrinking moose on Isle Royale. The letter reads:

"The article on the size reduction of moose in Isle Royale National Park (The Case of the Shrinking Moose) posits two reasons for this phenomenon: dietary restriction due to overcrowding and global warming. The author (or scientists on the project) should be aware that dwarfism is common among large mammals restricted to islands (examples include pigmy mammoths that lived on California's Channel Islands and the extinct Cyprus dwarf hippopotamus in the Mediterranean). It is now widely accepted that evolution can happen on relatively short timescales, so this hypothesis cannot be excluded. I point this out not only because of the difficulties of separating multiple hypotheses, but more important, because by citing global warming as a cause that cannot be conclusively demonstrated, I fear you are giving ammunition to climate-change deniers who think all scientists are going beyond their data when it comes to the projected effects of climate change." - Larry W. Allen, Altadena, CA

Re: The Case of the Shrinking Moose

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:07 pm
by Midwest Ed
Grandpa wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:38 pm

This article about a study of Isle Royale moose skeletons appeared in the latest issue of National Parks magazine:
Spring 2018: The Case of the Shrinking Moose by Kate Siber

From the above article:

"For the past three decades, teams of five or six volunteers have paid for the privilege of thwacking through the brush, wading through swamps, plunging down ravines and balancing along muddy beaver dams. They brave frigid cold, sweltering heat and, at times, great clouds of mosquitoes. Sometimes they smell a carcass long before they see it or literally trip over bones. Other times volunteers absent-mindedly picking thimbleberries notice the bleached tip of a femur sticking out of the duff." - Kate Siber
I once had the "pleasure" of literally stumbling upon a relatively fresh moose kill. It was laying right in the middle of the trail between Hatchet Lake and Todd Harbor. The hind quarters and entrails were missing. The ground was carpeted with what seemed like goose down but of course was fur. And the smell was only surpassed by what seemed like millions of flies. Ironically, when I got to Todd Harbor I ran into a Moose study crew (two students from Purdue). After I described the scene they didn't seem too thrilled at their coming prospects.

Re: The Case of the Shrinking Moose

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:55 am
by torpified
Grandpa wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:38 pm
The current issue of "National Parks" magazine (Summer, 2018) has a letter to the editor that provides a counterpoint to the article in the previous edition (Spring, 2018) regarding the shrinking moose on Isle Royale. The letter reads:

" . . . . examples include pigmy mammoths that lived on California's Channel Islands . . . . "
It made my day to encounter the concept of "pigmy mammoths" !!!