P E T S BEASTIAL ATHLETICISM Scientists are now confirming what philosophers have known for years. There is an intimate link between cognitive skills and physical fitness. Studies are helping find the connection that lies in the evolutionary history of all creatures, with surprising gaps between men, apes and other mammals. By Walter Tarello (DVM, MRCVS, MA Cardiology) “Mens sana in corpore sano’ (‘A sound mind lives in a healthy body’) (Juvenal, Satire X, 55-127 A.D.) Brain and brawn Small animals with a quicker metabolism, like chipmunks, live fast and die young. Chipmunks process visual information with high speed and detail, reacting faster than other animals, because they see the world as a movie in slow motion, thanks to a brain trained to rapidly assimilate data