World Heart Day – fascinating facts about the hearts of the animal kingdom!

Did you know that giraffe have the highest blood pressure of any animal on the planet?

It can measure 280/180 mm Hg, which is twice that usually found in people, and their hearts can beat up to 170 times per minute. Just think how strong their heart must have to beat in order for blood to reach the top of their heads!

Today, 29 September, is World Heart Day. To celebrate, here are five other fascinating facts about hearts within the animal kingdom.

1. BLUE WHALE – they have the biggest hearts of any animal in the world. Weighing in at around 430kg, that’s the size of a small car!

2. PYGMY SHREW – these cute, fluffy animals (which weight less than an ounce!) have one of the fastest beating hearts at around 1,200 beats per minute. Whereas an adult human’s resting heart rate normally falls within 60 to 100 beats per minute!

3. OCTOPUS – they don’t just have one heart… they have three! Two of their hearts are responsible for pumping blood (their BLUE blood) to their gills, whilst the third circulates the blood to the rest of the body.

4. FAIRY FLY – this type of wasp is so small, at less than 0.2 millimetres long, that you would need a microscope to see it’s heart! Insects have tubular hearts that run along their backs.

5. SEAL – many seals have the ability to reduce their heart rate to around four or five beats per minute, a condition called bradycardia.

World Heart Day is used to raise awareness of how cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, claims the lives of 17.9 million lives around the globe every year.

To find out more about this awareness day, click here.

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