PDA

View Full Version : How many calories a day would a bigfoot need to live

Wesley Clark
12-03-2011, 06:42 PM
I'm pretty sure this is a factual question. Pretty sure. If a creature like bigfoot exists, and it is physiologically similar to gigantopithecus blacki (an extinct species of primate that was about 10 feet tall, about 1100 pounds and very muscular, although blacki supposedly wasn't bipedal) how many calories a day would something like that require to survive?

I believe humans need about 50 calories for every pound of muscle added to their frame. I have no idea how many calories you need for other lean tissues like the heart or liver on a pound for pound basis.

Plus if there was some kind of 10 foot tall, 1100 pound muscular creature that was living a hunter gatherer lifestyle it would need to do a lot of walking, hiking, possibly swimming and running, etc.

Is about 20,000-25,000 calories a day a good estimate? That would be over 20 calories per pound per day, which assuming a muscular frame and an active lifestyle would be roughly right. But I believe as your size increases your caloric needs decrease. An elephant uses far fewer calories than a bunch of mice that collectively weigh as much as an elephant.

I read gorillas need up to 40 pounds a day of vegetation to survive, wouldn't a creature like that need closer to 150-200 pounds a day to survive? Can a primate digestive system process that much vegetation?

John Mace
12-03-2011, 06:46 PM
This is a pretty easy calculation. Just look up what gorillas consume and scale appropriately. But I'll give you one hint: Gigantopithecus wasn't a hunter/gatherer.

runner pat
12-03-2011, 06:49 PM
This site (http://www.freedieting.com/)gives 2273 (daily basal) for a 25 year old male, 6 ft-275 lbs.
The site wouldn't let me enter 1100 lbs or 550 lbs.

Approximate calories per mile(running) for that weight (275) would be around 175 at 10 min/mile pace.

Wesley Clark
12-03-2011, 06:50 PM
This is a pretty easy calculation. Just look up what gorillas consume and scale appropriately. But I'll give you one hint: Gigantopithecus wasn't a hunter/gatherer.

Would gorillas have the same lifestyle and locomotion, or bodyweight distribution?

Wesley Clark
12-03-2011, 06:51 PM
This site (http://www.freedieting.com/)gives 2273 (daily basal) for a 25 year old male, 6 ft-275 lbs.
The site wouldn't let me enter 1100 lbs or 550 lbs.

Approximate calories per mile(running) for that weight would be around 175 at 10 min/mile pace.

I don't agree with that site. In college I was 260 pounds and exercised about 3-4x a week. That site says I'd need 2984 at that rate, but I really needed closer to 4000 a day. I lost weight on 3500 calories a day back then.

runner pat
12-03-2011, 06:53 PM
I don't agree with that site. In college I was 260 pounds and exercised about 3-4x a week. That site says I'd need 2984 at that rate, but I really needed closer to 4000 a day. I lost weight on 3500 calories a day back then.

Basal= just sitting doing nothing.

John Mace
12-03-2011, 07:27 PM
Would gorillas have the same lifestyle and locomotion, or bodyweight distribution?

Probably pretty close. But you could do the same calcs for gorillas and orangutans to get an idea of what the bounds would be. Gigantopithecus might have been more closely related to orangs, but because of their size, they probably had a lifestyle more like a gorilla.

Alka Seltzer
12-04-2011, 03:38 AM
A quick google failed to find cites for the number of calories consumed similar sized animals. Bear in mind, the amount doesn't go up linearly with body mass. Small (warm blodded) creatures consume a much higher fraction of their bodyweight each day than larger ones. They are much less efficient at retaining their body heat, as they have a much higher ratio of surface area to volume.

DSeid
12-04-2011, 08:04 AM
Issues include size, shape, and cold adaptation.

One approach would be to look at the scientific work on estimating the caloric needs of a different closely related human species, Neandertal. This article (http://www.paleoanthro.org/journal/content/PA20090096.pdf) estimates that cold adapted male and female Neandertals likely expended about 4700 and 3200 KCal/d respectively each. Neandertals were larger than anatomically modern humans, albeit were not giants.

Another would be to look at another cold adapted omnivorous species, one that is more giant compared to modern humans. Polar bears (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1170/is_n5_v24/ai_15714759/) on average appear to require 12,000 to 16,000 KCal/d to prevent weight loss and weigh in any where from 390 pounds for a smaller female to 1500 pounds for a large male.

I don't think that Sasquatch is portrayed as being as big as a polar bear though. My WAG would imagine BigFoot as being as much bigger than Neandertal than Neandertal was than modern humans and adding something like 10% to those Neandertal estimates ... 5200ish KCal/d for a male.

LSLGuy
12-04-2011, 08:23 AM
ETA: Ninja'd by DSeid.

I'm gonna go with using bears as analogs. A bear is omnivorous and furry. Some species are about that size & weight. Bears often live in the same climates as hypothetical Bigfoots whereas gorillas & orangs live in the tropics where keeping warm is not such an issue.

Wiki tells me a lot about many species of bears, but daily caloric intake isn't one of the factoids I was able to come up with.

I'm also going to question how a 10 foot tall great ape gets to be 1100 lbs. We have 6.5 ft tall uber-muscular giants now (read NFL linemen) and they come in around 300 lbs. Bumping height 50% ought to increase weight about 2.5x. So ~750 lbs. It's a good bet there's not much fat on a large foraging ape.

While I agree that elephants & mice have very difference requirements measured in calories/kg/day, I'm gonna suggest that as between a NFL-sized human and a 2.5x heavier humanoid, the cal/kg/day number is gonna change at most a few percent. So triple what an NFL player eats on a game or full-up practice day & you'll be close or even a bit generous.

Xema
12-04-2011, 08:32 AM
Bumping height 50% ought to increase weight about 2.5x.
Weight should go roughly as the cube of height. So if height increases by 50%, weight should be around 3.375 times as much.

Your NFL lineman scaled up to 10 ft thus would weigh a bit over 1000 lbs.

LSLGuy
12-04-2011, 09:41 AM
Good catch. I went with square, not cube. Oops.

John Mace
12-04-2011, 10:16 AM
ETA: Ninja'd by DSeid.

I'm gonna go with using bears as analogs. A bear is omnivorous and furry. Some species are about that size & weight. Bears often live in the same climates as hypothetical Bigfoots whereas gorillas & orangs live in the tropics where keeping warm is not such an issue.

Mountain gorillas would be a better model than bears:

The Mountain Gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests and of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200–4,300 metres (7,200–14,100 ft). Most are found on the slopes of three of the dormant volcanoes: Karisimbi, Mikeno, and Visoke.[10] The vegetation is very dense at the bottom of the mountains, becoming more sparse at higher elevations, and the forests where the Mountain Gorilla lives are often cloudy, misty and cold.[11]

The Mountain Gorilla is primarily a herbivore; the majority of its diet is composed of the leaves, shoots and stems (85.8%) of 142 plant species. It also feeds on bark (6.9%), roots (3.3%), flowers (2.3%), and fruit (1.7%), as well as small invertebrates. (0.1%).[12] Adult males can eat up to 34 kilograms (75 lb) of vegetation a day, while a female can eat as much as 18 kilograms (40 lb)

Cloudy, misty and cold. Remind you of anywhere in the US?

Alka Seltzer
12-04-2011, 11:32 AM
Of course, his bio-cloaking device might also burn up a lot of calories.

Chronos
12-04-2011, 02:33 PM
Mountain gorillas would be a better model than bears:That depends on whether we want to assume that sasquatches are herbivorous or omnivorous.

And John Mace, if Gigantopithecus wasn't a hunter-gatherer, what the heck was it? A farmer?

John Mace
12-04-2011, 02:45 PM
That depends on whether we want to assume that sasquatches are herbivorous or omnivorous.
The OP specified a creature like Gigantopithecus.

And John Mace, if Gigantopithecus wasn't a hunter-gatherer, what the heck was it? A farmer?

"Hunter/gatherer" is a term used to describe humans and some of our recent ancestors. It implies a home base to which food is brought and shared among the social group. It has never to my knowledge been applied to non-human animals. No one would call a chimp a hunter/gatherer even though they occasionally hunt and might be said gather (although forage is more accurate).

We don't know a lot about Giganto, but the teeth seem to indicate it was herbivorous or mostly herbivorous, like all the other non-human great apes. Humans, like the other apes, would make very unsuccessful carnivores/omnivores without stone tools and there is no evidence that Giganto made stone tools.

Wesley Clark
12-04-2011, 08:15 PM
A quick google failed to find cites for the number of calories consumed similar sized animals. Bear in mind, the amount doesn't go up linearly with body mass. Small (warm blodded) creatures consume a much higher fraction of their bodyweight each day than larger ones. They are much less efficient at retaining their body heat, as they have a much higher ratio of surface area to volume.

This has some info.

http://hep.ucsb.edu/courses/ph6b_99/0111299sci-scaling.html

Energy demands increase relative to body mass by ^(3/4).

Kleiber's law means that a cat's metabolic rate is not a hundred or 21.5 times greater than a mouse's, but about 31.6 -- 100 to the three-quarter power. This relationship seems to hold across the animal kingdom, from shrew to blue whale, and it has since been extended all the way down to single-celled organisms, and possibly within the cells themselves to the internal structures called mitochondria that turn nutrients into energy.

DSeid
12-04-2011, 10:41 PM
I have a hard time with a "law" that handwaves away multiple examples that don't fit (?falsify?) the law with
West is not too bothered by these seeming exceptions. The history of physics is replete with cases where an elegant model came up against some recalcitrant data, and the model eventually won.Um, no. In a battle between "recalcitrant data" and an "elegant model", the data wins, as elegant as the model may be.

It may be a reasonable "principle", a major factor even, a rough estimate starting point ... but no "law" handwaves away data that does not fit in such a manner.