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Speed derived from footprint t8

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751239.  Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:28 pm Reply with quote

Hi Rubinsky,

You'll notice at the end of the section on T8 that Stephen says: "I'm not saying that Usain Bolt is not the fastest...."

I wasn't at the edit, but wonder if that was the producer leaving a little caveat to cover that this was a slightly dubious fact. My source is not with me at the moment, but I felt it was strong at the time, so I stand by it at the moment. I'll try to respond to your specific points later in the week.

751248.  Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:59 pm Reply with quote

Hi Rubinsky have you been formally welcomed to the forum?

Judging by some of the fauna around in Australia at the time running fast was no. 1 priority.

751328.  Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:34 am Reply with quote

I have not Zebra. Browsed through the forums every now and then in the past - and only was there a necessity to make an account :)

Eggshaped -- at the time I presumed the caveat was kept because the speeds were still slightly lower than those of Bolt; however that -due to underground, acceleration and possibly other, even faster, tribe members- it would be save to suggest Bolt would not be the fastest. Thus the little warning due to the other factors, instead of due to the base-speed.

Anyway, please do take all the time you need - no reason to rush these matters.

755152.  Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:19 am Reply with quote


Any news yet? :)

Untutored Eye
755177.  Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:38 am Reply with quote

I'M the fastest.

When it's my shout, I can leave a pub in 0.8 seconds flat.

758013.  Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:08 pm Reply with quote

There is in fact a subsequent paper written by Webb in which he recalculates the speeds and makes corrections to the original research. In that paper he gives a revised speed of 37kph for T8.

The more recent paper was tricky to find but I can have a look for a link if anyone wants the evidence.

758065.  Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:18 pm Reply with quote

How did he recalculate it fadrus? Welcome to the forums by the way :-)

758069.  Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:43 pm Reply with quote

Thank you Jenny.

From memory I think he simply took what he considered to be better advice about the running speed that would relate to the measured stride lengths. There was no issue of the original measurements being faulty in any way.

I'll see if I can dig out the article tomorrow and post a link. Bedtime now, it's nearly 3 o'clock here :)

758071.  Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:56 pm Reply with quote

Actually curiosity got the better of me....

Looks like I might have been wrong about the reason for the recalculaton and in fact it was just improved data but I'll leave it to you to read the paper more carefully than I'm able to at the moment.

There's an interesting bit too about a one legged man!

758288.  Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:43 pm Reply with quote

Thank you - some people will undoubtedly be interested in that.

758457.  Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:35 am Reply with quote

Very interesting! Also note how large their feet were!

Some of those men would currently have a hard time shopping for shoes ;D

994720.  Wed May 08, 2013 7:05 am Reply with quote

I just watched a repeat of this episode and was excited when Stephen Fry said this had been discovered on the Gold Coast as I live not far from there and thought I'd go and have a look! But the Willandra Lakes Region is nowhere near the Gold Coast!

As to the deduced speed of T8, I say that it is complete crap.

Webb, in his first article, says that the stride length of T8 increased from 1.8m to 1.9m, indicating acceleration. This was obtained from 7 footprints over a distance of 11m.

Why then, is there no explanation as to the huge discrepancy in his second article? After excavating more of the site, he says that a further 4 footprints of T8 were found, taking the track from 7 steps to 11. Yet the stride length is suddenly stated to be 3.73m!!! If, in the first 7 steps, this person accelerated from a stride length of 1.8m to 1.9m, he must have strapped on a jet pack to go from 1.9m to 3.73m in the next 4 steps!

Methinks someone else needs to check these footprints before we sully the name of Usain Bolt!

Sadurian Mike
994740.  Wed May 08, 2013 8:02 am Reply with quote

I imagine that the steps 1-7 and 8-11 were all that was left of a longer trail, and that some were erased.

994920.  Thu May 09, 2013 1:30 am Reply with quote

That's obviously true Sadurian Mike but it does not explain how Webb came up with a stride length of 3.73m.

Sadurian Mike
994969.  Thu May 09, 2013 7:06 am Reply with quote

They are working on the data they have. The stride length is a calculation based on a few pieces of data, and to have mucked with the data to get a better 'fit' would have been unscientific.

A 6ft modern sprinter is reckoned to have an average stride length of about 2.5m, so a particularly tall and strong individual might make the 3m mark. Yes, it is unusual, but that's what the data throws up.

After all, the first person to find the bones of Diplodocus probably thought that it couldn't possibly have been that long.


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