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Is there a relationship between heart rate and the lifespan of an animal? This topic has been the subject of numerous studies because understanding the physiology of other mammals could improve our own quality of life.

It is proven that small animals have a higher heart rate and shorter lifespan compared to larger animals that have a much slower heart rate. This indicates a clear relationship between the metabolism of a species and its life expectancy.

No one knows for certain how long a whale actually lives. They have been studied for relatively few years, but their longevity can be roughly estimated. In the 1990s, harpoon tips were found embedded in the blubber layer of some whales that were hunted in Alaska. These harpoon tips were compared to collections displayed in museums and it was determined that they had been shot by Eskimos 100 to 130 years earlier. This suggests that the whales carrying these harpoon tips were at least a little over a century old.

If we consider that a whale has around 20 heartbeats per minute and compare its supposed longevity with other smaller mammals with a higher heart rate, we find a fairly clear coincidence. To estimate the age of a dolphin (110 heartbeats per minute), the structure of its teeth is analyzed, which cannot be done in a baleen whale. Based on this, it is estimated that dolphins live between 20 and 30 years, and it is believed that a wild orca could live between 50 and 80 years. This suggests that the longevity of an animal has a direct relationship with its size and heart rate.

The heart rate of humans is often elevated due to various factors, including stress and environmental pollution. People living in large cities are exposed to an environment rich in carbon monoxide, emitted by vehicles. Red blood cells are 200 times more sensitive to carbon monoxide than to oxygen. Therefore, when breathing air rich in carbon monoxide, the body needs to permanently increase its heart rate to meet the oxygen demand of the cells.

It is time for humans to start seeing ourselves once again as just another animal in the game of life. No animal stays in a hostile and unhealthy environment longer than necessary unless it can change things. It is time to start making a change.

“You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.”