Strings and Math

The length of an organism is typically strongly correlated with its body mass. This is useful because it allows us to estimate the mass of an organism even if we only know its length. This relationship generally takes the form

Mass (kg) = a * Length(m)b

where the parameters a and b vary among groups. Write a script that prompts the user for the following pieces of information:

  1. genus name
  2. species name
  3. the length of the species

and then estimates the mass of the organism using the equation above. The script should paste the result as:

Genus species is length meters long and weighs approximately mass kg.

where the words in italics are replaced with the appropriate values. As is standard practice the first letter (and only the first letter) of the Genus name should be capitalized, and the species name should appear in all lower case letters when input.

An allometric approach is regularly used to estimate the mass of dinosaurs since we cannot typically weigh something that is only preserved as bones. I’ll be testing your script using the length of a Spinosaurus (Spinosaurus aegyptiacus), which is 16 m long based on its reassembled skeleton. So, use the values of a and b for Theropoda (the appropriate dinosaur clade): a has been estimated as 0.73 and b has been estimated as 3.63 (Seebacher 2001). Spinosaurus is a predator that is bigger, and therefore, by definition, cooler, than that stupid Tyrannosaurus that everyone likes so much.

[click here for output]