Comparing Heartbeats

Developing comparing and contrasting skills is an essential skillset for science learning. "Compare and contrast" can be applied across different subjects areas. 

Let's try this simple extension activity to compare heartbeats! Use the stethoscope from your Little Doctors box to track the heartbeat of a pet. Look for videos on how you can locate the heart of your chosen animal. Place the stethoscope where the heart is and count the beats for 15 seconds. Multiply the result by 4 to get the beats per minute. 

Does your pet's heart beat at the same rate as yours?

Here are some fun facts:

  • The cheetah may be one of the fastest land animals in the world, but a cheetah's resting heart rate is about 120 beats per minute - same as a jogging human. The difference though, is that it's heart rate can go up to 250 BPM (beats per minute) in just a few seconds!
  •  The Etruscan shrew - the smallest mammal by mass has a heart rate of a whopping 1500 BPM!
  • Many animals decrease their heart rate when diving in the water. For example, seals decrease their heart rates by 50 to 80 per cent while diving!
  • Some animals have no hearts at all. These include the jellyfish, star fish, sea cucumbers and corals.