Author: lcelebi

Live fast die young: Rate of Living Theory

The rate of living theory proposed by Max Rubner (1908) suggests that animals have a finite number of heartbeats till they die. The initial observation was that the large animals which have slower RHR (resting heart rate) live more than small animals which have faster RHR. Taylor (1980) explained this phenomenon with the “cost of generating force” hypothesis which suggests the amount of oxygen consumed by running animals is proportional to their weight. It was stated that producing one newton of force on the ground is more costly for smaller animals than for bigger ones because smaller animals must take shorter steps using faster, less economical muscle fibers than bigger animals do. Additionally, their larger area and volume ratio causes them to lose more heat. Therefore, small animals require more oxygen (per kg of body mass) to be delivered to the tissues in the body. However, the total number of heartbeats of most animals -large or small- tends to be approximately the same, around a billion, and humankind is stated as the exception with 2.24 billion heartbeats. Anyhow, if we consider it in terms of broad orders of magnitude, there does appear to be a tragic connection between living quickly and passing away soon for all species, large and small.

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