Evolution is one of the most curious and fascinating processes in nature. Shaped by sex, death and happenstance over the course of millennia, evolution is the essence of what caused our species to stand upright on the plains of Africa six million years ago. But the evolution of Homo sapiens, from our discovery of fire to our development of sophisticated technologies, is a tale as long and complicated as the evolutionary process itself. And as scientists continue to examine our evolutionary history, new information is emerging that helps explain how the past shaped us into the beings we are today. Here are a few strange facts you might not have realized about how we came to be.
8. Human Longevity Could Stem From Our Slow Metabolism
Along with other primates, humans burn roughly 50% percent fewer calories than other mammals. This means that we would literally have to run daily marathons if we were to come anywhere close to burning the same number of calories that other similar sized mammals go through on an average day.
According to a recent study, the reason for this is directly linked to our slower metabolism, which researchers believe accounts for our drawn-out growth periods and longer life spans. By comparison, most other mammals, such as dogs and cats, rarely live more than 15 years. It’s now believed that environmental conditions played a big part in the evolution of the slow metabolisms that granted us increased longevity.