Do humans possess recovery that "is absurdly high compared to almost any other animal?"


So I saw this post which claimed that:
*- “Our endurance, shock resistance, and ability to recover from injury is absurdly high compared to almost any other animal.”

  • “Where a simple broken leg will cause most species to go into shock and die, we can recover from virtually any injury that’s not immediately fatal.”
  • “We heal from injuries with extreme rapidity, recovering in weeks from wounds that would take others months or years to heal.”
  • “Thanks to our extreme heartiness, we regard as routine medical procedures what most other species would regard as inventive forms of murder.”*

I haven’t been able to find anything that suggests that is or isn’t true.
Do humans actually posses a great/greater degree of shock resistance, regeneration and heartiness in comparison to other animals?

No it’s asinine to think we are innately more physically robust and heal faster than similar animals like chimps. Almost all those claims re humans need to add " add in a social structure where the injured will be protected and given medical care." There are animals that will run themselves to death and into a form of physical shock to escape capture but this is hardly a worthwhile comparison.

With regards to the second bullet point, we have been social, omnivorous animals with weapons for tens of thousands of years. Solitary injured carnivores die because they can’t hunt, no matter if they would have recovered or not. Injured herbivores often die because they can’t outrun predators before they heal and they aren’t dangerous enough to defend against them.

I don’t know about the other bullet points*, but it is certainly plausible that if we show higher recovery from injury, that we evolved the ability because it did us good, whereas it would be wasted in those other species.

*Other than with regard to “endurance”, we endure long distance travel as well as or better than nearly all land mammals.

And what would become of that “extreme hardiness” if we were thrust into a wild environment, and forced to compete with other animals? Our distant ancestors survived only marginally.

And interestingly this goes back to the earliest days of our species. In fact to ‘protohuman’ species, a homo erectus fossil from 1.7 million years ago was found with Hypervitaminosis A so advanced she must have been looked after for a great deal of time while very sick, far longer than any other animal would have in similar situation.

It is the first time I have heard anything like the other points described in the OP (other physical endurance in terms of long distance running, which humans are exceptional at), I am very skeptical but would be interested in being proved wrong.

Yeah, we’re certainly quite good at endurance running. But we’re still not the best at that: Dogs and horses are at least comparable to us, and pronghorns totally kick our butt at it.

And if you want to hold up an animal as an exemplar of rapid wound recovery, take a look at the Tasmanian devil. Preferably from a safe distance. They don’t even bleed.

Yep, but it’s hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of years, depending on how one defines weapons.

It’s our social bonds that allow us to heal, not some physical capability.

Same here, I’m mostly curious as to how valid the claims are about ‘shock resistance.’

Human intelligence does give us at least one advantage animals don’t: we can understand the nature of the injury and the treatments that will help it. An animal can only practice basic, mostly instinctual behaviors. We can say things like “Put ice on this twenty minutes at a time, three times a day for two weeks.” We can build crutches and splints (and probably have done so for at least as long as we used stone tools). We can drink bitter medicine and do painful physical therapy because we understand that there’s a net benefit to us.

Even when we’re treating animals: human medicine is more advanced than veterinary medicine. Humans give better feedback to researchers, and we put a lot more effort into studying human medicine. If we’re comparing cancer treatments for dogs and people, I’m sure the people come out better overall. It’s not our innate abilities, just the effort we’ve put into research and technology.

Anyway, I think the passage the OP quotes is mostly wishful thinking by pet owners. “I had to put Fido down. He can’t recover like people do.” or “I’m sure Fido didn’t suffer, he probably died from shock instantly.”

The impression i get is that, compared to other animals, we suffer crippling amounts of pain. This pain makes us scream and disables us enabling our SOCIAL group to swoop in and take care of us.

Please don’t think I’m saying animals don’t feel a lot of pain.

It has been argued we might be. No unarmed human on foot has ever quite ( though they got close ) run down a pronghorn because of their tremendous combination of speed + endurance. So in that most basic of survival contests they might well win. However it is questionable whether even a pronghorn is built for the kind of endurance that 150 mile+ ultra-marathoners display, because they don’t need to have that extreme ability - running fast for 20 miles is usually enough.

Human endurance taken separately, quite aside from considerations of average speed, is really pretty freakish and extreme by the standards of the animal kingdom.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen accounts of a pronghorn maintaining a steady 45 MPH for multiple hours on end.

I remember a roommate of mine who was in vet school commented on how quickly dogs recovered from major surgeries. I believe he said dogs have been know to walk on the same day one of their legs had been amputated. If true, might be relevant to the issue of shock resistance.

If I was alone with a broken leg and a pack of wolves nearby, I would prefer to go into shock rather that be alert as they chowed down.

I’m skeptical about even the human endurance running thing. It gets repeated as fact now but I’m dubious that humans would have purely hunted by chasing down an animal; at the least you’d hunt in a team so no individual has to run themselves almost to death for the sake of a meal. But better of course is throwing a rock.

I don’t think comparing ultra marathoners is fair because those are people with exceptional genetics using modern training techniques, the best nutrition, shoes etc. It would be like saying we probably lifted huge boulders over our heads because there are some guys who can lift 250kg.

Unlike a lizard my tail has never regenerated.

You’re being skeptical of something that iswell-documentedas fact. It’s OK to be skeptical that it was ever our primary hunting method, but not to doubt it happened. And it still always involves weapons for the kill.

The typical approach (simplified) was for a team of human hunters to basically harry their game by running after it relentlessly, if somewhat slowly. So your prey animal might sprint away, run out of steam, while the hunters just sort of ran up at their own pace. Lather, rinse, repeat, until the prey animal can’t get away, as they’re not built for that kind of thing, but humans are.

Actually I had seen that movie…I’m pretty sure when I saw it on TV many years ago was the first time I heard of persistence hunting.
And I’m aware there are examples of humans using persistence hunting today…on looking at my earlier post I know I was dismissive of the whole concept but I didn’t mean that.

What I’m skeptical of is that this was necessarily the first / main form of hunting and that we’ve specially adapted to this method.
For example, our shoulder joint is well adapted to throwing objects accurately. And it’s much easier to find examples of native groups hunting using spears and arrows, and such weapons are associated with humans since before there were humans.

So you’re saying animals don’t feel pain? :wink:

I believe the minor nitpick to that point is not that humans are more sensitive to pain stimuli, but our ability to recognize the source of the pain and speculate about its meaning can magnify its effect on us. Break a dog’s leg and he’ll just go on the other three with not a lot of drama. Break a person’s leg and they start thinking about how this is going to affect them in the near term, will it heal properly or is it going to get infected or become chronically painful and/or unstable, am I going to need to see a doctor…and the stress just builds. Shucks, I’d be surprised if the evidence didn’t actually support higher mortality among humans due to panic & shock for injuries that could be survived by wild critters that just don’t overthink stuff. With all deference to the inherent danger of becoming a noncompetitive predator or slower prey, of course.