5.24.10 Chase StormDawg on Tornadoes, elephants and dinosaurs?

Chase StormDawg, special weather science correspondent from VORTEX2, is starting to answer questions from students and science teachers around the country.  The questions and answers will be posted here as they come in!

Question: Could a tornado ever pick up a grown elephant?  Also, do you think a tornado ever passed over a huge dinosaur without hurting or killing it?

Chase StormDawg: Tornadoes have been known to toss train cars and tanker trucks weighing up to 10 tons. Since an adult elephant weighs 3 to 5 tons, it is certainly possible that a tornado could pick up and move a grown elephant. As for the dinosaurs, scientific research suggests that the brontosaurus weighed over 30 tons. That would make him very difficult to move! In addition, we are still trying to study what the climate must have been like during the period when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I don’t know of any research that studies whether dinosaurs had to deal with tornadoes. But, if they did, they would have needed very large tornado shelters!

Send your questions to Chase StormDawg at nssl.outreach@noaa.gov, or chasestormdawg@gmail.com