When we think of evolution, we'll often remember the adage, "Survival of the fittest." But according to a new study, the phrase should possibly be changed to "Survival of the laziest."
Scientists examined the metabolic rates of various species to determine how it affects survival. The metabolic rate is the rate a species can break down food and other things to create energy. So you'd expect that a species with a high metabolism would be more likely to survive since they'd be better at converting their food into energy, which is a basic function of life. But the researchers found that actually species with low metabolisms were better at surviving.
According to their research, the scientists found that species with higher metabolism rates were more likely to go extinct or have higher mortality rates than species with low metabolism rates. The scientists believe this is partly because higher metabolism rates are correlated with higher rates of cell death, which can speed up dying.
For a human, this means if you have a low metabolism, so people who don't have a ton of energy because they're converting food into energy as well, you may actually have a slight evolutionary advantage over people with high metabolisms.
Of course, the scientists point out that metabolism isn't the only factor that will determine a species' survival. But we'll pretend that is in order to justify sitting on the couch all day.