A recent study of over 200 dogs at the International Weight Pulling Association events has shown that the size and width of a canine's head may determine it's strength or speed.
Broad-headed dogs like American Pit-Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, or Bernese Mountain Dogs were able to pull a noticeably larger amount of weight than narrow-headed dogs like Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes.
However, past studies show narrow-headed dogs are fasted and more efficient at running compared to broad-headed dogs.
Given any trip to a dog race track, this information may sound like a no-brainer, but the study also suggests the same theory applies to humans!
A human head is narrower than other great apes, which suggests humans have adapted to run for longer durations at the expense of strength. It is believed that our ancient ancestors used this increased endurance to chase their prey to death instead of using brute force.
Head size obviously isn't the only factor that determines the speed and strength of an animal, but the study demonstrates that, in general terms, we can't have it all.
William Helton, with the University of Canterbury's Department of Psychology, who was behind this study says:
"Nature does not allow unlimited budgets and the trade-offs are often physical constraints."
Looking in the mirror, it doesn't appear as if we'll be able to rip anybody in half anytime soon, but we'll just have to settle for our cat-like speed and agility to get us through life.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: adaptation, bulldog, dogs, evolution, great ape, humans, psychology, study