Animals Burn More Calories but Humans Live Longer

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_14517bce30.jpgKeith Barlow/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Non-primate animals have got it made, at least in one important sense. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that humans and their primate cousins burn 50 percent fewer calories daily than other animals, explaining why you might never see a fat crow.  However, the same can't be said for elephants.

In any event, Herman Pontzer, an anthropologist at Hunter College in New York and the lead author of the study, says that while humans and other primates have to work harder to lose weight, their slow metabolism means much longer life expectancies than non-primates.

This fact helps scientists understand the health and life span of humans, who have longer childhoods and less offspring than other animals.

The relatively inert human lifestyle, compared to non-primates, allows us to save more energy, contributing to lives that extend for decades.

But if you want to burn as many calories as others mammals your size, Pontzer suggests it might take running a marathon every day to do so.

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