Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:00 PM
Jay Z is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 32

Could a small rodent (mouse, chipmunk) be killed by an apple falling from a tree?


Don't need answer fast. But how strong are the skulls of small rodents?
  #2  
Old 09-20-2019, 05:47 AM
Machine Elf is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 12,305
Not sure about the skull, but ISTM that an apple falling from substantial height could cause massive blunt trauma if it landed on the body of a small rodent.
  #3  
Old 09-20-2019, 08:48 AM
Toxylon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,221
On the other hand, as a rule, apples don't fall on hard, unyielding surfaces. This has a big impact (heh) on the impact. It is hard to kill even bugs using much larger and heavier objects than apples, if the bug is on grass, under an apple tree.
  #4  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:14 AM
OldGuy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Very east of Foggybog, WI
Posts: 5,464
You don't need to squash the rodent nor even fracture its skull. It think that a falling apple might be enough to break a neck if it hit just right.
  #5  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:40 AM
bordelond's Avatar
bordelond is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: La Rive Ouest
Posts: 10,371
Just to have some numbers to work with:

Body weight of adult gray squirrel: about 1 to 1.5 lbs (~450-680 g).
Weight of medium red delicious apple: about 1/3 lb (~150 g)

Here's an Everlast 60 lb heavy bag used for boxing workouts and such. Note that this item is considerably lighter than the bags high-level boxers and MMA fighters would use (100-150 lb).

The last mathematical item is the height of the drop -- that 1/3 lb apple is coming down on that 1.25 lb squirrel from ... 8-10 feet? Don't think I've ever been up close to an apple tree. So anyway, is that comparable to dropping a 60-lb heavy bag onto a 180-lb person from how high? Is the height meant to scale up linearly with the weight to draw a comparison? Not sure.

In any case, it's clear that the apple has to hit a squirrel just so to kill it. Random apples falling onto randomly-places squirrels will suffer a lot of glancing blows and near misses -- and yes, likely a handful of deaths. Seems that many more squirrels will survive than get snuffed, though.
  #6  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:16 AM
74westy's Avatar
74westy is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Regina, SK, Canada
Posts: 2,000
Trying to make it look like an accident?
  #7  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:18 AM
Si Amigo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North of 8 Mile
Posts: 4,186
My aunt killed her chihuahua by tossing a small a bone onto it's temple. so I think it's at all far fetched to imagine an apple killing a mouse.
  #8  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:03 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 18,004
I saw a squirrel fall off a powerline right onto a concrete sidewalk. I thought for sure he was dead. I went and tapped it with my toe and to my amazement he jumped up and ran off to the trees. I kept watching for him after that, thinking I'd see a limping squirrel.
They are tough little creatures.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 09-20-2019 at 12:04 PM.
  #9  
Old 09-20-2019, 02:06 PM
KneadToKnow is online now
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 26,585
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
Trying to make it look like an accident?
Planning the worst game of Clue ever.
  #10  
Old 09-21-2019, 10:02 AM
PoppaSan's Avatar
PoppaSan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: West shore Lake Michigan
Posts: 2,370
It would have to be a "not long for this world anyway" rodent as birds of prey feast on such non-observant creatures. Falling apples equate to death from above, let's scurry away scenarios.
__________________
This place is beginning to feel like a tin foil hat convention.
  #11  
Old 09-21-2019, 12:17 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 18,004
I walked out the door yesterday and an acorn hit me on the head. If I didn't see the acorn drop to the ground I would've swore it was a large rock. It hit hard. Surprisingly hard.
  #12  
Old 09-21-2019, 12:25 PM
Babale is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,884
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo View Post
My aunt killed her chihuahua by tossing a small a bone onto it's temple. so I think it's at all far fetched to imagine an apple killing a mouse.
  #13  
Old 09-21-2019, 12:48 PM
Gatopescado is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 22,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I walked out the door yesterday...
Where were you headed?

Last edited by Gatopescado; 09-21-2019 at 12:51 PM. Reason: And did you arrive?
  #14  
Old 09-21-2019, 01:09 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 18,004
I came and I went.
  #15  
Old 09-21-2019, 02:04 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I walked out the door yesterday and an acorn hit me on the head. If I didn't see the acorn drop to the ground I would've swore it was a large rock. It hit hard. Surprisingly hard.
We have a couple oaks overhanding our house. The sound of acorns hitting our roof in the fall is amazing. (And it seems that every other year is a big year for them.) Sometimes one will hit a sky light and makes me worry that one will crack someday.

This is with the jillion evil squirrels running around grabbing acorns directly off the tree. If that didn't happen the sound would be like a battle for weeks on end.
  #16  
Old 09-21-2019, 02:44 PM
P-man is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Washington, DC area
Posts: 1,789
It didn't seem to bother our dog much when a squirrel dropped an acorn on her head.
  #17  
Old 09-21-2019, 05:16 PM
carrps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 865
I've had a squirrel try to drop a pine cone on me... but it missed. One of those green, unripe, heavy pinecones. Little bastard.
  #18  
Old 09-21-2019, 06:19 PM
OldGuy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Very east of Foggybog, WI
Posts: 5,464
Thanks for the math bordelond, but the OP asked about a small rodent like a mouse of chipmunk. I'd think they'd be much more susceptible to damage than a squirrel.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017