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Author Topic: Do humans excel physically in anything?  (Read 10716 times)

Offline claes

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« on: 16/02/2011 00:23:51 »
When comparing humans to other animals it is often stated that we are mentally superior, but physically inferior in most aspects to several animals. Are all our senses mediocre? Are there any physical skills where humans do excel? Fine tuned motor skills come to mind. I have a hard time imagining any other animal threading a needle or successfully playing darts.


 

Offline Supercryptid

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #1 on: 16/02/2011 02:10:51 »
We are good at persistence hunting which some groups of people have taken advantage of to wear down prey items that are faster and stronger than humans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting
 

Offline CliffordK

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #2 on: 16/02/2011 06:32:43 »
Opposable Thumbs, and better manual dexterity.

:)

What about control over vocal frequencies?

We can certainly outperform some animals in almost every task, but just not all animals.
 

Offline Don_1

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #3 on: 22/02/2011 09:41:02 »
Its rather difficult to separate the two. Mental ability enhances physical ability. For example what animal can move a 450 ton piece of granite? The Egyptians managed to do so around 2000 yrs BC, stood it vertically in Karnak temple and then carved and polished it. Such a physical act could only be carried out with mental ability.

Wouldn't team work, communication and manual dexterity count here?
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #4 on: 22/02/2011 16:28:57 »
We're very good at physically losing heat by sweating. As far as I know no other animal does this.
 

Online Bored chemist

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #5 on: 23/02/2011 07:20:51 »
Most animals can lose heat that way, but you are right; we are the sweatiest animals on the planet.
We are also the best typists.
 

Offline Don_1

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #6 on: 23/02/2011 12:06:23 »
We are also the best typists.
weel/ taht mzy mot nesssecccelery bee tghe kace.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #7 on: 23/02/2011 12:24:15 »
We are also the best typists.
weel/ taht mzy mot nesssecccelery bee tghe kace.

The faculty that allows me to understand both BC and (especially) you is really what makes us stand out - physically we are great generalists but no great shakes (apart from sweatiness) but mentally...
 

Offline rosy

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #8 on: 23/02/2011 13:00:32 »
We're very good at physically losing heat by sweating. As far as I know no other animal does this.
Um.. horses sweat, don't they?
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #9 on: 23/02/2011 15:18:44 »
In horses they sweat because of the stress of exercise, but not to maintain their body temperature; it's purely a stress response.

Humans are the only animal that can maintain its body temperature by sweating.
 

Offline rosy

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #10 on: 23/02/2011 16:01:03 »
Really? What's the difference?
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #11 on: 23/02/2011 16:39:14 »
If you stress a horse it will sweat, even if it's not exercising, and not because it's hot (humans do this too). During exercise horses will sweat, but only if they're overstressed- in nature they would rarely run as hard as we make them.

But humans also can sweat to directly maintain their body temperature. We also have adaptations like hairlessness which reduces insulation and helps evaporation, and we have the ability to expand the blood vessels at the surface of the skin to lose heat more efficiently. No other animals does this. It's that that humans are super good at.
 

Online Bored chemist

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #12 on: 23/02/2011 19:27:22 »
A horse running, for whatever reason, will generate a lot of waste heat. Since it has to maintain it's body temperature within close limits (typically 37.5 to 38.3C)otherwise it would start to feel feverish, how can it dump the waste heat?
According to quite a lot of references on the web, it does this by sweating- just like people.

On the other hand, why would they sweat as a stress response?
It makes sense for us to sweat when nervous- we get nervous just before we have to run away from things, and being well cooled helps us do that. Also, it makes us slippery and difficult to catch. That's less of an issue when you are the size of a horse.

Why don't you think horses sweat to lose heat?

Humans are undoubtedly very good at it, but lots of animals do it.
 

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Do humans excel physically in anything?
« Reply #12 on: 23/02/2011 19:27:22 »

 

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