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The Book of Animal Ignorance

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Barry T.Spate
757644.  Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:34 am Reply with quote

I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining and informative book. However, on p.200 in the section on the worm an impossibly high number is given for the total number of nematodes on Earth - 4 x 10 to the power of 55! Surely, this must be a gross printing error? If each nematode only weighed one microgram, the total mass of nematodes would still be 4 x 10 to the power of 43 tonnes! As the Earth has a mass of roughly 10 to the power of 24 tonnes, these nematodes would have a total mass of of 4 x 10 to the power of 19 times (i.e. 10 million trillion times) the mass of the Earth! - which is clearly absurd.

Barry T. Spate

757679.  Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:50 am Reply with quote

Welcome :)

This issue has been raised on these forums before (this thread), and it was generally agreed that the number quoted in the book was too high, but we didn't find out the real answer. One for the elves to explain, methinks...


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