Feeds

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

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

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.