An elephant's bladder can hold nearly 5 gallons 18 liters of fluid, and yet, it can pee just as quickly as a cat. A new study reveals that most mammals larger than rats urinate for about the same amount of time: 21 seconds. That's because their urethras are appropriately scaled to be a "flow-enhancing device," the researchers said.
Headed to the bathroom? Scientists who watched dozens of different mammals from rats to elephants relieve themselves found that most of them seem to urinate in the same time frame — around 21 seconds. The findings, released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shed light on the mysterious fluid dynamics of urination and could help engineers build better flow-regulating devices.
The research from Georgia Tech found that all mammals weighing more than 3kg spend about 21 seconds urinating. The researchers also argue that bladder pressure is not as important in creating the speed of urinary flow as previously thought. The study says says that, although larger mammals may have bigger bladders to empty, the effects of gravity increase with increasing body size means that the time spent urinating remains the same across as mammal size increases.
They have a reputation for never forgetting. Now an experiment has shown that even when members of an African elephant family are out of sight, they are far from being out of mind. Elephants keep tabs on their family members with the help of urine, according to a study led by Prof Richard Byrne of the University of St Andrews that is a testament to how the creatures not only have good memories but update them too to keep abreast of what their relatives are up to.
A rhinoceros has a bigger bladder than a dog, and generates urine by the bucketful. So which animal spends more time peeing? Scientists from Georgia Tech figured that, in general, larger animals would pee for longer.
Their diverse systems all rely on the fundamental principles of fluid mechanics, according to United States researchers. The study at the Georgia Institute of Technology study investigated how fast 32 mammals urinated. It turns out that it is all about the same.
Although we don't often think about it, fluid dynamics touches almost every aspect of our lives, from a billowing breeze that buffets a flag, to swirling river currents that shape canyons to the surging blood that sustains our lives. One of the basest of bodily functions -- urination -- is governed primarily by the equations of fluid motion. In the laboratory of Georgia Tech's David Hu, scientists and engineers look to nature for engineering ideas.
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From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Media in category "Elephant penis" The following 19 files are in this category, out of 19 total. African Elephant, Loxodonta africana penis.