Bee-eater's nesting tunnel lengthB

Subject: Bee-eater's nesting tunnel lengthB
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 10:47:57 +1100 (EST)
On Tue, 11 Dec 2001, Alan Morris wrote:
> Michael Todd enquired as to how long is a bee-eaters tunnel. Obviously
> Michael the NPWS office library at Griffith should purchase a copy of
> HANZAB for you! A wise investment for the project!  HANZAB says:  Length
> of tunnel throughout  range 89.4 cm (23.4; 40-150;43), with no difference
> between nests in vertical banks (87.33 av) and flat ground (90.5 av).

This is one of my pet peeves.  The specification of bee-eater tunnel
length to 0.1mm is rather too precise - 0.1mm is the diameter of a human
hair.  The data probably warrants 1000x less precision, e.g. 90 +/- 20cm.

To be fair to the editors of HANZAB, this likely comes from another
source, one of many biologists apparently never taught what a significant
figure is.

Mind you this all pedantry as the range (40-150cm) is likely what Mick
Todd wanted to know.

Andrew Taylor

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