"'Slightly' Modified, Giraffes Would Make Great Fighter Pilots, and Bats, Great Cardiologists ... and Please Give Me a Heart That's Part Guinea Pig, Part Spider, Part Rat, and Part Goat ... or It's Lucky We're So Smart!"

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Anatomical and physiological diversity within the animal population is manifested in many species which adapt well to environments in which others may perish, but much of this diversity is manifested in characteristics which, if possessed by humans, would provide them with exceptional capabilities. This presentation will describe properties of giraffes, bats, guinea pigs, spiders and goats that if present in humans would allow them to perform exceptional feats. Specifically: (1) the giraffe possesses the ability to tolerate great postural changes that if present in pilots would allow them to tolerate enormous accelerations; (2) bats perform ultrasonic-echolocation to identify minute structural features and motions far in excess of the capabilities of even the most sophisticated echocardiography that attempts to identify cardiovascular disease; (3) the guinea pig has circulation to its heart that would prevent most common heart attacks in humans; (4) the spider, having a muscle associated with its heart that actively sucks blood back to it, would not suffer from the abnormal cardiac filling in many humans with heart failure; and (5) the activation process of the goat heart is so perfect that abnormalities present in humans would not cause their hearts to skip a beat. In general, however, humans can survive without these capabilities... because we're so smart, but what if some of these properties could be transferred to humans?


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The media can be accessed here: http://streaming.osu.edu/knowledgebank/dls/021506.mp4