& # 39; Survive of the Loud & # 39; is the key to avoiding extinction

When your mother told you to clean your room and you said that you would do it later, it turned out that you were just trying to survive.

A new study by researchers at the University of Kansas suggests that species that consume more energy every day are at greater risk of dying than those who are more sedentary.

"We wondered:" Could you look at the likelihood of extinction of a species on the basis of energy intake by an organism? ", Says Luke Strotz, postdoctoral researcher at the KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum and the lead author of the research in a statement.


In the study, Strotz and his team compared 300 million different types of molluscs, including animal species that had died out 5 million years ago, and noted that the extinct species had a higher metabolism. "Those who have died out usually have higher metabolic rates than those who are still alive," added Strotz. "Those with lower energy maintenance requirements seem more likely to survive than those with higher metabolic rates."

The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Bruce Lieberman, a co-author of the study, added that "survival of the fittest," a sentence that arose from Darwin's theory of evolution, may need to be revised.

"Instead of" survival of the fittest "is perhaps a better metaphor for the history of life" surviving the laziness "or at least" surviving the inertia "; "said Lieberman.

Strotz added that although there are many factors and different inputs that are important when it comes to extinction, metabolic rate is particularly important to watch out for.

"At the level of the species, metabolism is not the only and the end of extinction – there are many factors, but these results say that the metabolic rate of an organism is part of the likelihood of extinction," Strotz said in the statement. "With a higher level of metabolism, a species will probably become more extinct, so it is another tool in the toolbox, which will increase our understanding of the mechanisms that cause extinction and help us better determine the likelihood of extinction."

So far, the results only apply to molluscs (which were used because of the abundance of data on living and extinct species), but added that more work needs to be done to see if there is a link between the metabolic rates and other animals.

"We see these results as generalizable to other groups, at least within the marine kingdom," said Strotz. "Some of the next steps are to extend it to other clades, to see if the result is consistent with some things we know about other groups."

Clades are organisms that have evolved from a common ancestor.

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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