Studying Nature's Secrets, and Animals' Medical Superpowers

At the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, in Palm Desert, California, it's hard not to marvel at giraffes, with their towering height and gentle ways. But it turns out they may be medical marvels as well.

Physician and biomedical researcher Dr. Davis Agus notes that giraffes have a blood pressure of about 280 over 180, more than twice as high as that of a human. "When we, as humans, get elevated blood pressure, we start to have significant heart disease, stroke, kidney problems; that doesn't happen to a giraffe," he said.

Agus, the CEO of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine and a CBS News medical contributor, is also the author of "The Book of Animal Secrets," published by Simon & Schuster (a part of CBS' parent company, Paramount Global).

Vigliotti asked, "Do animals really have secrets?"

"Animals don't have secrets, but they have behaviors that are secrets within them that could help our human health," Agus replied.

Those lessons can come from across the animal kingdom, whether it's looking up to birds in our efforts to ward off dementia ("Birds can migrate all over the world and get to where they're going. They use certain landmarks, So, if you want to retain cognitive function for a long time, you need to do activities that involve pattern recognition and that physical activity"); or dieting and exercising, like a rhino ("The best exercise we can do is on, off, on, off, rather than keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing. But it's the sprint, stop, sprint, stop, which is how a rhino exercises").

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