Smaller animals have faster heartbeats than larger animals because of the ratio of surface area to volume in blood vessels. Small animals have small blood vessels, and therefore little volume compared to the surface area in comparison to large animals. Blood doesn’t move as efficiently at the surface of the vessel because it is in contact with the wall; therefore, small animals must pump blood harder in order to get it to move efficiently through the vessels. Since the machinery is the same in both small and large animals, the heart just beats faster in small animals in order to provide sufficient blood circulation to all of the body’s cells.
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