QotW - 07.10.14 - Do Macaws get more than their fair share of heartbeats?

  • 3 Replies
  • 103163 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
I know that all mammals (except humans) live the same number of heartbeats (about 1.5 Trillion). However, my Blue and Gold macaw has a resting heartbeat 10X mine and a life expectancy of 80 years, in other words roughly equivalent to an elephant or large whale. Why is that? What is different about the avian heart that gives it such a long life?
Asked by Mike, Leeds & Bert Latamore

                                         
« Last Edit: 30/11/2007 14:23:04 by BenV »

*

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
We put this question to Neil Forbes, a specialist in bird medicine and the president of the European College of Avian Medicine & Surgery, based at Great Western Exotic Vets in Swindon.

A little bit of explanation. The questioner suggests that his birdís heartrate is 10 x his own and I think that, as in many of these cases, some of these figures are wrong. The resting heartrate of a macaw is published to be 127, rising to 350 when being restrained or upset or in flight. And the recommended lifespan of a macaw is 35-50 years as opposed to the 80 years which is suggested. Now taking those figures, that would work out with a heartbeat of 4.3-6.2 x 10^9 so, in fact, far less than the 1.5 trillion suggested. In reality I think the honest answer is that actually birds have less heartbeats than mammals and that isnít a surprise at all. The metabolic rate of a bird is significantly faster than a mammal. Rather similar to a car engine running a bit faster than another car and as such you would expect them to run out a bit sooner than a mammal, rather than a bit later.
« Last Edit: 16/10/2007 12:19:01 by BenV »

*

paul.fr

  • Guest
ok, well nobody else has had a guess so i may as well.

Birds, i know can have a heart beat of up to 1000 beats per minute. I guess this is something to do with all of the exurtion of flight. Those that live at higher altitude have (i think) larger hearts and a faster beat.

so, is is something to do with the muscles of the heart? Do they have extra strong heart muscles and or tissue? i really have no idea, but i do like it that we can now try and contribute to the question of the week.

I just wish this had started on the weeks when i did know the answer!

*

Offline Mr. Scientist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1451
  • http://www.facebook.com/#/profile.php?ref=profile&
    • View Profile
    • Time Theory
I know that all mammals (except humans) live the same number of heartbeats (about 1.5 Trillion). However, my Blue and Gold macaw has a resting heartbeat 10X mine and a life expectancy of 80 years, in other words roughly equivalent to an elephant or large whale. Why is that? What is different about the avian heart that gives it such a long life?
Asked by Mike, Leeds & Bert Latamore

                                         

I think it to be bizarre to count age by heartbeats. There are so many things to consider other than what may be construded as ''a predermined amount of heartbeats.''
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZGcNx8nV8U

''God could not have had much time on His hands when he formed the Planck Lengths.''

 ̿ ̿ ̿ ̿̿'\̵͇̿̿\=(●̪ē)=/̵͇̿̿/'̿'̿̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ ̿ ̿

٩๏̯͡๏۶