Feeds

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

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

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
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
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
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'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.