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Dinosaurs had high blood pressure too

I know this story is a bit different from my usual stories. However, I was curious to learn about the blood pressure of dinosaurs and giraffes. If nothing else, it could be useful at a trivia night. :)

Researchers have discovered that long necked dinosaurs would have used up too much energy, and had a large drop in blood pressure, to carry their heads up high.

In addition, long necked dinosaurs, like giraffes, had very high blood pressure compared to humans.

Keep your head down low

Long necked dinosaurs, or sauropods, are often pictured as reaching up high with their necks to eat leaves off tall trees. Not possible!, say biologists from The University of Adelaide, Australia.

The dinosaurs would have needed to use a huge 50% of the energy they consumed just to support their long necks to browse tall trees. It would be more likely that they would have grazed on trees keeping their head more horizontal.

In comparison a giraffe with a 2 metre (over 6 feet) long neck uses around 20% of its energy to circulate blood while humans use about 10%.

High blood pressure in dinosaurs and giraffes

The longer an animal’s neck, the higher the blood pressure the animal needs to pump blood to the brain.

A giraffe has a blood pressure level double of other animals due to its long neck. The average blood pressure of a giraffe is over 200mmHg. Now that is high!

The researchers suggest that a sauropod dinosaur with a 9 metre (over 29 feet) neck would have passed out after lifting their heads at a 90 degree angle, and have a blood pressure of 700mmHg. Wow!

Perhaps in the future, museums, movies and books may need to reflect the change and picture long necked dinosaurs with their heads carried not as high. The research was published in Royal Society Biology Letters.

More trivia: Learn the blood pressure secret of a giraffe

Why don’t giraffe’s experience dizziness when they lift up their long necks from a drinking to a standing position in 2 seconds?

The secret lies in a muscular cuff around the jugular vein in the neck which acts like a cuff, similar to that used on the arm in human blood pressure tests. The muscular cuff regulates blood flow when the head lifts until, the heart can pump blood up the neck to the brain. How clever!

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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