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How many hearts does a cow have? Does a cow have four hearts? There are many myths revolving around the heart of cows, some people believe that it has only one heart whereas others say four. It has led to confusion, debates, and research to know more about the bovine heart.
It is not uncommon for animals to have more than one heart. Some well-known animals have two or three hearts, much to people’s surprise.
However, it is still a mystery for many farmers that whether the cow is counted among those animals who have more than one heart beating to live.
This is an intriguing topic that interests many cow lovers. This mystery surrounding the number of cow hearts has pushed many people to know more about it.
Well, you have come to the right place, here, you will find answers to all the questions related to the subject matter.
How Many Hearts Does a Cow Have?
Cows have one heart and the myth regarding cows having four hearts is based on folklore. Just like other mammals and birds, the cow’s single heart is classified into four divisions. The blood pumping machine of the cow is larger and muscular than the smaller mammals.
The heart ensures blood circulation through their massive bodies. The cow’s heart is roughly the size of the human head. It has similar anatomy as the human heart.
Owing to a lot of similarities, it is often used in anatomy classes to learn human anatomy by comparison.
Do Cows Have Four Hearts?
If you got here after hearing the popular myth, then to clarify, cows do not have four hearts or four stomachs.
They have a single four-chambered heart and a stomach. Just like other mammals and human beings, it only has a single heart.
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Myth About Cows Having Four Hearts
Wondering if cows have a single heart then how did this misunderstanding arise.
Why did people start believing that cows have three, four, or even seven hearts? There are several myths associated with cows having four hearts, possessing four stomachs, and they have no teeth.
It is hard to know the origin of these myths and who is responsible for this misconception.
One of the reasons for this misconception may stem from the cows’ anatomy.
Firstly, being a ruminant, the cow has a four-chambered stomach for the digestion of food.
A cow heart is divided into four different chambers, two for pumping blood called ventricles and two for collecting pumped blood called atriums.
This blood-pumping system is quite similar to mammalian hearts.
Cows having four-compartment stomachs and hearts which has led many people to believe that they have more than one heart.
Four Chambers of A Cow Heart
Cows have a bigger heart than most mammals and have four distinct compartments resulting in this misconception that cows possess four hearts. Read about Steaks in cow
According to Whitman College, Each chamber of the heart is meant to perform different functions.
The two chambers called left and right ventricles are responsible for pumping blood.
The other two chambers are called left and right atriums which receive pumped blood.
That’s how the cow’s heart circulates blood.
Right, Atrium – Blood flows into the heart through this chamber.
Right Ventricle – This section of the cow’s heart pumps blood to the lungs to become oxygenated.
Left Atrium – Left Atrium receives oxygenated blood from the lungs into the heart.
Left Ventricle – Left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood to other parts of the body. Once blood is circulated around the body, the cycle starts again.
Different Ways to Know That Cows Have Only One Heart
The cow is a domesticated animal mainly raised for meat and milk. Seeing them often, we all know their anatomy very well. There are more than one ways to know more about the cow’s heart.
- Slaughtering: Every day, hundreds and thousands of cows are being slaughtered and consumed. After the cow is butchered, you can see for yourself that cows only have one heart. Almost every piece of the cow is used for meat, including the heart. Beef heart is used in many delicacies for humans to feast on.
- Dissection: Cow hearts are often dissected and used in anatomy classes for all the students to analyze. Because of the bigger size and similarity with the human heart, it is easier for students to understand the anatomy. It is also relatively cheap and has almost similar functionality as the human heart.
- Edible: Cow hearts are eaten all over the world, it is considered edible by the authorities. It is commonly called beef heart and is cheaper than other cuts of beef. This meat is homogeneous with very little visible grain in meat. Known as peasant food, it is fried and used in many recipes.
Uses of Cow Hearts
Cow hearts are helpful to human beings in a variety of ways. Even though when it is no longer useful for the cow, it can be used for a lot of things.
- Cooking – The internal organs of the livestock are called Offal which can be used for human consumption. It is considered the food of the working class because of its affordability.
- Medicine – In the case of human heart failure, it is difficult to find a perfect donor for heart valves and tissue. Fortunately, the cow heart has similar functionality as humans. So, cow heart valves can be used as replacements for human heart valves and hundreds of lives can be saved.
- Fertilizer – The other common use for a cow heart is to turn it into fertilizer. When it is not going to be used for human consumption, it can be rendered down and used in industrial processes.
- Animal Feed – It can be used to make non-human meat products like food pellets or pet food. The cow byproduct can be used to make animal feed.
To sum up, cows only have one heart which is further divided into four different compartments. These four distinct sections have led to confusion about the number of hearts a cow actually has.
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