Thoroughbreds and Greyhounds: Biochemical Adaptations in Creatures of Nature and of Man

Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


The purpose of this paper is to describe how adaptations, especially within the muscular system, may have bestowed advantages that may account for the athletic abilities of two species, canine and equine. Although both species may not represent the fastest of mammalian animals known nor the best for endurance, selection processes imposed during their domestication and development for specific tasks initially connected with hunting, farming, and warfare, and more recently for leisure activities, led to a wide spectrum of breeds with differing capabilities. A study of these provides an interesting comparison to elite human athletes whose training today tries to lift them above their natural limitations. It could be argued that information obtained from studies of these two athletic species could be more useful in an understanding of muscular development in man rather than the extensive studies carried out in the most commonly used model, the rat. In a recent review on skeletal muscle adaptability (Saltin and Gollnick 1983), studies in the rat were generally referred to when the required data was lacking from investigations in man.


Gluteus Medius Biochemical Adaptation Heart Score High Oxidative Capacity Canine Breed 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physiology Unit of the Animal Health TrustNewmarketGreat Britain

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