Dolphins burn calories at a lower rate as humans!

    Humans are not the only species whose metabolism slows down with age.
    A Duke University-led study found that bottlenose dolphins burn calories at a lower rate as they get older. Just like we do.

    This is the first time scientists have measured age-related metabolic slowdown in a large-bodied species other than humans, said Rebecca Rimbach, a postdoctoral associate in evolutionary anthropology at Duke. We can shed light on factors, apart from diet and lifestyle, that cause age-related weight gain in people.

    The team found that despite living in a watery world, bottlenose dolphins burn 17 percent less energy per day than other marine mammals of their size.

    The scientists also noted some similar signs of metabolic aging in people. The study found that the oldest dolphins, in their 40s, used up to 22 percent to 49 percent fewer calories from their body weight than expected. Like humans, most of the calories in them ended up being fat instead of muscle. Dolphins at age 40 had a body fat percentage of 2.5 times higher than their counterparts under 20.

    The researchers studied 10 bottlenose dolphins aged 10 to 45 living at two marine mammal facilities, the Dolphin Research Center in Florida and Dolphin Quest in Hawaii.

    The team used the doubly labeled water method to measure their average daily metabolic rate. This method has been used to measure energy expenditure in humans since the 1980s. It is a method in which animals are given a few ounces of water to drink, to which naturally occurring heavier forms of hydrogen and oxygen are added, and then monitored how long it takes the animal to flush. Went.

    Like humans spread their arms to circulate blood, dolphins in these facilities voluntarily lift their tail fins out of the water so that their caretakers can collect blood or urine as part of their routine checkups.

    By analyzing the levels of heavy hydrogen and oxygen atoms in blood or urine, the team was able to calculate how much carbon dioxide the dolphins produced each day and thus how many calories they were burning during their lives.


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