A billion and a half heartbeats

For those not in the know, BBC radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage is a ‘witty and irreverent look at the world according to science with physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince’. Thank you ipod nano (my sole Apple product) for making this engaging program accessible.

The most recent program looked at size and scale, and came up with one of those facts that seem somehow familiar. The talk was of how metabolic rate varies by size, with a focus on us mammals, who all have a common machinery of heart, lungs and so on.

Every mammal has a billion and a half heartbeats in its lifetime: this applies whether you are a mouse, bat, cat, dog, human, or elephant.

Interesting !

I’ve just googled ‘mammals have a billion and a half heartbeats’, and it appears that more follow-up reading is available, possibly with a divergent view or two out there.


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