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Horse vs. Human

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Katlyn Uhart

on 4 June 2014

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Transcript of Horse vs. Human

Human Muscles
vs. Horse Muscles

Many organisms, whether animal or human, have a muscular system. But these systems are varied between all species. However, hidden in between these differences there are similarities. Two seemingly completely different organisms are humans and horses. The muscular systems of people and horses are different from one another, and yet, have many similarities.
Whether cardiac, smooth, or skeletal, there are many different and similar muscular systems to explore between humans and horses. Horses and humans both have the above three types of muscles. However, the muscles of both species found within these categories have differences and similarities. For example, both humans and horses have cardiac muscle only in the heart. But the skeletal systems of humans and horses differ in a couple ways. While the heart is essentially the same in both, the smooth and skeletal muscles are not only larger in horses, but they perform differently. For horses, the endurance and strength of the skeletal system is much greater than a human’s. The smooth muscle system found in people, in contrast, is much more complex than that of a horse.
Types of Muscles
The first muscular system to compare between the two species is the cardiac muscles. This type of muscle is fascinating to me for several reasons. For one, it is completely involuntary and yet has one of the most difficult and important jobs of the entire body. Second, every creature on earth that has a heart has this sort of muscles. Whether it’s the smallest hummingbird or a forty five foot long whale, all cardiac muscles are the same. With that being said, humans and horses have nearly identical cardiac muscles systems. The only difference is that a horse’s is much larger than a human’s.

With smooth muscles it’s a bit of a different story. These muscles are the muscles that assist in involuntary systems such as digestion. Although these muscles are made similarly with the cells of the muscles working the same way and being made the same, there are differences. These differences can be explained simply by the fact that horses and humans have different diets. Because horses are herbivores, their smooth muscular system is complex but simplified compared to that of an omnivore. They consume plants so their digestive system is specialized using the smooth muscles to digest producers and only producers. Not so with humans. Humans are omnivores. Unlike herbivores and carnivores, they consume both producers and other consumers. So our smooth muscles are specialized to help in the digestion of, say, both salad and steak.
Finally, there’s the skeletal muscular system. These are the voluntary muscles that let us move our arms and legs. Obviously, both humans and horses have skeletal muscles. Both have muscles that help us move our legs, our necks, and our backs. These three muscles are very similar to one another in both humans and horses. The only two differences are, once again, that human’s muscles are weaker than horses, and that the structure of the muscles is different. A horse’s neck muscles perform the same movement as a human’s, but are much longer and sturdier than those of a person. The same goes for the leg and back muscles.
Differences In the Skeletal System
However, there are major differences in this area of muscles. Where people have arms with muscles in our fingers and hands as well as our feet, horses have two more legs that perform the same. Also, the front legs of a horse have shoulders similar to ours, but the back legs have ligaments known as withers. Also, the flexibility of humans is unavailable to horses. Because of the differences found in the structure of the skeletal muscles, horses have more limitations on their range of motion. For example, where people have several different speeds and ways of walking, such as walking, jogging, skipping, jumping, running, etc., horses have four main gaits, with the exception of jumping. These are walking, trotting, loping or cantering, and galloping. However, the strength that comes from the skeletal muscles of horses is built with more endurance and speed so it is truly amazing to see a horse in motion.
The muscular systems of horses and humans have both similarities and differences. Like many other species in this world, they have three main muscle types; cardiac, skeletal, and smooth. Although there are many similarities between horse’s and human’s muscles, there are also many differences.
In Conclusion...

• American Physiological Society. "Galloping And Breathing At High Speed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2008. Viewed on 4/28/14 www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925072438.htm
• Davis, Karen L. “The Muscles” Horse Anatomy. netplaces. Viewed on 4/29/14 http://www.netplaces.com/horse/horse-anatomy/the-muscles.htm
• “Equine Muscular System” Equine Education Connection. Viewed on 4/29/14 http://www.eec-equine-therapy.com/Muscular-System.html
• Taylor, Tim. “Muscular System” Inner Body. Muscular System. Viewed on 4/25/14 http://www.innerbody.com/image/musfov.html
• “The Amazing Horse” Horse Anatomy. Horsemanship Pages. Viewed on 4/28/14 http://thinklikeahorse.org/index-5.html
• “The Muscular System” The Human Body. SBI!. Viewed on 4/29/14
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