Feeds

True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

Science finally admits it's been taking the piss all along

The next step in data security

Racehorses have long been noted for the prodigious length of their - wait for it - toilet breaks. Yet boffins have claimed that all animals actually wee for the same amount of time, demolishing equines' much-vaunted status as the greatest urinators on Planet Earth.

Researchers measured dozens of species to find that all animals above 3kg in weight wee for a rough average of 21 seconds.

David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said he was inspired to perform the experiments after changing a baby's nappy.

“I was thinking, ‘How could anything be worse right now?’” Hu said. “And I thought, ‘Well, maybe if I was changing an elephant’s diaper it would be really bad.’”

This got him wondering how much fluid animals actually emitted when they went to the toilet, so he headed straight down to Zoo Atlanta to start measuring a variety of animals' excretions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was not an easy task.

"We ended up cutting sections of soda bottles, because it has to be something you can hold by hand, and just at a second's notice go on your hands and knees and hold it in the right position," Hu recalled . "Everything else we tried failed. We tried pans - they don't like pans, they think it's weird. We tried pads - they don't like pads, they think it's weird."

He was surprised to see that the size of the bladder didn't have a massive effect on the length of the wee, taking an average of 21 seconds, allowing for a difference of 13 seconds either way. It might sound inexact, but if you consider that an elephant's bladder is 3,600 times larger than that of a mouse, then the 13 second allowance doesn't seem so large.

The secret lies in the urethra, which keeps the flow running smoothly. It turns out a long and wider urethra results in faster flow, meaning a large animal unleashes its urine at a comparable rate to a smaller one.

The report is called Duration of urination does not change with body size and is published in the aptly named PNAS, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.