# On dinosaur size

(Hopefully this is the right forum)

So I’m watching a program on mathematics. In it, the host describes a formula that can apparently predict the size deviation of things. The formula he used is:

To prove it he approached a commercial fisherman and asked for a sampling of his days catch (Sole). I don’t remember the exact numbers, but he weighed about a hundred fish ranging in size from about 50 grams to 220 grams. Calculating how many fish the fisherman had caught in his career he was able to predict the size of the large test fish he had ever caught (1.3 kilograms). A fact verified by the fisherman.

That’s a substantial difference from the fish he had weighed. He went on to explain that many things could be predicted formula. People’s heights, etc.

Given that, could that formula be applied to what we know about certain species of dinosaurs? Could the largest Brontosaurus, for example, have been considerably larger than we are generally taught?

Or maybe they already do apply this formula and I just don’t know it.

Binomial Theorem.

Would have been used for sauropods but obviously it’s best with a larger sample size to estimate the population mean and standard deviation.

With dinosaurs there aren’t that many intact skeletons around so better estimates are made from biometric ratios which are more accurate for length and height rather than weight.

Given that 1) there are always outliers, and 2) that we’ve got a very incomplete record of dinosours, I’d have to say “Yes.”

So is that how we know how big the biggest examples were or do we just measure the known skeletons.

One thing scientists are able to look at now is whether the bones in question have finished growing. So at least they can tell if a given individual was an adult or not. A famous case is Dreadnoughtus (see the section titled “Ontogeny.”)

The sizes given in references are based on the largest known individuals of a species. If the skeleton is incomplete, as they usually are, it may be based on extrapolation from known complete skeletons or similar species.

But given the very small number of specimens we have of dinosaur species compared to the total population that ever existed, it is extremely unlikely the largest individual was among those preserved.