Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sluggish Metabolisms Are Key To Primates' Long Lives

We humans and our primate kin are weird mammals. We grow slowly, bear few young, and live exceptionally long lives. Now there's an explanation: primates simply expend less energy.

Herman Pontzer of Hunter College, New York, and colleagues have compared the average daily energy expenditure of primates with that of other mammals. His team studied animals living at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

Pontzer found that primates expend 50 per cent less energy than other mammals of equivalent mass during an average day. "What's more, he says the difference is not easily explained by differing activity levels: a human would need to run a whole marathon every day to be on an even energetic footing with mammals that aren't primates.


Full story here.
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