I do not have a good answer. So this is about something that surprised me recently. I leave it to you to search for parallels to the work of the virus.
You heard about the Tyrannosaurus Rex, an amazing dinosaur that roamed the earth a few years before you were born. In fact, they are not just roaming dinosaurs, but evidence has shown that the T-Rex is the largest, certainly the most formidable. It is a carnivore, and it works at good speeds when it chases bait, so the other animals around it live in fear for their lives.
However, how dangerous is the T-Rex? I ask in this sense: I see the crane of concern as a possible threat. After all, it is a large bird with a long and sharp beak, which is useful for damaging effect. But I have no cranes I know of anywhere. Also, their total numbers across the planet are too small for me to worry about; I am not likely to ever be charged by aggressive cranes. In ants, or humans, I can not say the same. They are everywhere I choose to go, some of them aggressive.
Think the same way about the T-Rex. When it orbits the planet, does it look like a crane, found only here and there? Or is it like ants and humans? Or get down to the numbers: at any given moment, how many T-Rex dinosaurs are there on Earth? Thousands like cranes? Billions, like humans? Trillions, like ants?
Professor Charles Marshall of the University of California (Berkeley), who led the team, explained: “When I held a fossil in my hand, I was amazed at the impossibility that this beast was alive millions of years ago. , And here I am holding some part of its skeleton — it is very unlikely. The question just popped into my head, ‘How improbable is this? Is it one in a thousand, one in a million, one in a billion? ‘And then I started to realize that I could guess how many people were alive so I could answer that question. “
How do you guess such numbers about an animal like the T-Rex, which died millennia ago, all we have are the fossils and skeletons of this great creature. Still, there are over 40 of them. This is enough to make some reasonable decisions about the longevity of the T-Rex, its weight and how widespread it is.
This group used the Damuts Law (1981), which describes the density of a species’ body size or weight over its geographical range. Other factors besides body weight are important here. However, think of Damut’s law as a simple toe-rule that dictates how many people of a given race can support it.
Widely, the larger the species, the lower its population density. Intuitively, it feels right. Manage ant colony: You will find them in rolling groups. Have you ever seen herds of elephants? At most, you can expect a small family-centered group of them, probably 10 animals. Damut’s law is summarized in the general mathematical formula. If you have an animal 80 times larger than the second animal, its population will be 1/27 thicker than the population of the first animal. If the first is 10,000 times heavier, its population density will be 1,000 times less than the second.
Again, it feels right to take humans and ants. If you weigh 10,000 times more than an ant (you’re actually heavier than that), the ants will fill that awardpoise deficit with perfect numbers. They are found in collections 1,000 times denser than humans.
Back with T-Rex: From fossils and skeletons, scientists have estimated factors such as the age at which dinosaurs reach sexual maturity and the proportion of population that lived to a given age. These can be used to determine that an adult (“post-juvenile”) T-Rex weighs between 3,700 kg and 6,900 kg, averaging 5,200 kg. That number goes directly into Damut’s law to produce a T-Rex population density of every 110 square kilometers.
How much is it? Say T-Rex has found its way to our subcontinent. According to this analysis there are about 30,000 adults across India – 2,800 today in Maharashtra and 13 currently running in Delhi. Estimate that it is one-sixth the density of tigers. 200,000 tigers roamed about India at one time before hunting and all our “development” reduced their numbers? Are reasonable.
From the extent to which T-Rex fossils were found, scientists estimated the geographical area that T-Rex actually occupied: approximately 2.4 million square kilometers. Multiply by the population density of dinosaurs and we have the interesting person I mentioned above: on a given day, about 20,000 T-Rex people were alive. So really, according to those numbers, the T-Rex is more like a crane than a human. You don’t want to go for one. You are not very likely to have anyway.
Another interesting thing is that scientists used this number to calculate. From the fossil record, how long did the T-Rex live as a species on Earth — its “temporal period” is 2.4 million years. Now take the average “generation time” for an adult T-Rex. It is not very long, but when it matures sexually, it is a person who takes into account how many offspring it has produced and the chance of living up to a given age. Divide the temporal period by generation time and we have an estimate of how many generations of T-Rex actually lived on our planet, and that number is about 125,000. So, in those generations, if 20,000 T-Rex individuals were alive, this would give the total number of T-Rex dinosaurs that have ever lived on Earth: about 2.5 billion.
It feels a lot, but not really. For example, we estimate that approximately 108 billion humans have lived so far; And no, I don’t really want expectations for cranes and ants.
Finally, think about how the dinosaurs disappeared. One theory is that about 65 million years ago, a large celestial body exploded and left the Chicksulab crater on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. In fact it ruined life in the area. But the dust from ision has spread around the world for years, causing permanent environmental change. That change is what killed the rest of the dinosaurs.
20,000 T-Rex on Earth before that accident. Nothing in a few years. Think of that.
Dilip D’Souza, once a computer scientist, now lives in Mumbai and writes for his dinners. His Twitter handle eDetEndSfun