Joyas Voladoras

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Throughout his work, Joyas Voladoras, Brian Doyle describes the life and the heart of different mammals, focusing on the hummingbird and the blue whale. By contrasting these two, Doyle introduces an interesting idea of life, not only between hummingbirds and whales, but with all living things. “Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heart beats to spend in a lifetime” (274).

Hummingbirds live a fast paced life. “Each one visits a thousand flowers a day” Doyle writes, “they can drive at sixty miles an hour…. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest” (273). Each of these ideas displaying how busy the birds is all hours of the day. But behind every trip to a flower and every mile they cover, is the heart. Doyle claims, “they have race-car hearts that eat oxygen at an eye-popping rate” (273). Their hearts are beating faster than most of us could even recognize, but it allows them to fly fast and visit thousand upon thousand of flowers in a lifetime. “It’s expensive to fly. You burn out. You fry the machine. You melt the engine” (273). In this statement, Doyle is claiming that the heart just cannot keep up the fast pace of life forever; it eventually wears out and just quits.

Quite different from the fast pace life of a hummingbird, is that of the largest mammal in the world, a blue whale (274). “It weighs more than seven tons. It’s as big as a room” Doyle writes about the heart inside the largest mammal on Earth (274). With something as large as the blue whale, it takes a massive heart to power a mammal that 100ft. long, and because it is so massive, the heart beats slowly. Doyle explains that while there are 10,000 blue whales on Earth we know almost nothing about their social lives, their habitat or really anything about them for that matter. Although we know very little about blue whales, Doyle writes “But we know this, the animals with the largest hearts in the world generally travel in pairs” (274).

By comparing...
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