Growth in Humans and Animals


Growing is important. As you go through life, your body is programmed to change its shape and size. Same goes for animals.

Once you become an adult, you stop growing in height, but your body may continue to change. A lot of people think that when a baby grows, it will look exactly like one of the parents. You will never look exactly like one or the other because of genetic mix. A baby usually ends up with characteristics of both the mother and father.

Genes are a substance in cells that control many functions. One of them is growth. As you grow up, your height changes. There are many hormones that control your growth.  The tallest person alive is 7.5 feet tall, the shortest is 1.9 feet. The average height of an American male is 5.6 feet tall. For females, the average American height is 5.4 feet tall.

Animals and people have similarities but also many differences. Animals and people both have programmed growth and development, but at different rates. Mice live only two to three years. Cats and dogs live up to fifteen years. The length of an animal’s life is related to how many predators it has. Animals that have lots of predators have shorter lives, so they grow much faster than humans. Do you ever wonder how long you are expected to live? Humans live up to seventy-five to eighty years, but in the past people have lived much shorter lives as well. One reason why we live longer today is because the diseases and conditions that could not be healed, can now be cured.

Learning about how your body changes is important. Growth is just one aspect of growing up. There is still much to be learned in order to understand how new bodies grow.

[Source: The Human Body]

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