Racehorses, pound for pound, can outrun, out jump and out power any human being, says Dr. Melissa Mazen, a professor, board-certified internist and pulmonology expert at Tufts Equine Center. In this video from Tufts University, she explains why horses are so fast.
First, she notes, horses are obligate nose breathers, meaning they can only breathe through their nose and not through their mouths. This is an evolutionary adaption, she explains, that separates their breathing from their swallowing. This means that a horse is always primed to run, at any given moment.
Another reason why horses are so fast, she continues, is because their hearts are “weirdly large.” There is a specific gene in the Thoroughbred, which is considered one of the fastest breed of horse, which has been inherited for generations from the mare Pocahontas. She is in the pedigree of most of the really fast racehorses, Mazen notes. “She was the source of the big-heart gene.”
In addition, horses have good vascularization, meaning there are lots of blood vessels going to large muscles. This allows for both explosive power and endurance power. All of these thigs combine to make horses so fast.
Watch the video here.
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