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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Dogs are the best for Antarctica Re: ITER, not quite yet jiggered 
	enough, quote from THE LAST PLACE ON EARTH
Date: 5 Mar 1999 13:33:53 GMT

In <7bnv2t$vtt$> (Archimedes Plutonium) writes:

>Having seen The Last Place On Earth re: Amundsen and Scott, a thought
>came to my mind. That dogs have a superlative. They are the best built
>animal to take on the hardship of coldness. I suppose a polar bear is
>even better. But for a small animal that can do work in the cold, it
>appears that the dog is the very best.
>  There should be a science of biology superlatives where one lists in
>an encyclopedia type fashion the superlatives of living creatures.
>  Can someone quantify this superlativeness of dogs in cold
>temperature? And what is it on a dog that he/she can survive those
>extreme temperatures?
    Extreme maximal aerobic metabolic capacity (oxygen uptake, VO2
max), which can run up to 30 times basal metabolic rate in dogs,
whereas in most mammals it can only go to 10 max, and in elite human
endurance atheletes, no more than 20.  Dogs are coursarial hunters what
run down prey by wearing it down,  Humans also, it seems.  And a well
trained human can run down any animal over time (which is how the
Indians caught the first horses), except of course for the dog family.
Dogs have tremendous hearts, and huge lungs built as finely as gauze.
A quite lovely design.  A good sled dog can run 100 miles in a day,
which seems within human capabilities until you realize you have to do
it at -10 F over ice.  Fuggetaboutit.

>Question: in one of the episodes Amundsen says that fresh meat is the
>best protection against scurvy. I had thought scurvy was a Vitamin C
>deficiency and that meat had no vit. C. Was Amundsen wrong?

   No.  All animals but primates and a few odd birds and bats make
their own vitamin C, and are full of it.  Most especially the adrenals.

>I had heard that British sailors carried fresh limes on ships to stave
>off scurvy; Brits called lymies because of it
>Question: I had heard of an overdose of vit A from eating polar bear
>liver by early explorers. In the movie, Amundsen tells his men, do not
>eat the liver because of an eskimo saying, never eat what a dog won't

   Don't eat... yellow snow.  Don't go where the huskies go...

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