Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mama nature and the Humanus Sedatus
(Endangered Species)
   Around here, the maple leafs are turning to beautiful colors and huge v-shaped flights of geese are gathering to head south. Up in the northern woods and not as obvious, bears are fattening up so they have enough calories stored to survive the upcoming hibernation.Soon they will go into a sleep-like state, thereby reducing their metabolic rate and energy needs. Yes, the trees and Ursa have a way of coping with winter that allows for the survival of their kind. If only humans were as wise.
((Head home to the couch?)
For all our smarts and "knowledge", many of our kind will be packing up their toys and taking them home. Many, ignoring the basic physiology the bears seem  to understand, will pack on the calories throughout the winter, eschewing hibernation and its slow metabolism for sitting on the sofa. Not only does this not equate with the slowing of metabolism that the bears will enjoy, it allows the still-awake-but-not-paddling-Humanis Sedatus to remain awake all winter while consuming all sorts of calories while burning few. Still, many will survive the Wisconsin winter while, paradoxically, slowly plugging their arteries and depositing belly fat.

Fortunately, a subspecies (Humanis Activus) has evolved and separated from the behavioral patterns of this group. Notable for their larger brains and more attractive bodies, these specimens also stay awake all winter (except for brief 5-8 hour sessions of refreshing sleep) and remain active, thus burning off much of the caloric load they consume. Unable to grow thickened fur coats, this subspecies has evolved a method of outer and inner wear to protect their warm-blooded bodies from the frigid cold.

Come spring, the Activus group not only weighs less than the Sedatus group: they prove to be (on psychological tests) happier and (according to neutral judges) better looking. It will be interesting to see which of these two groups falls under the factors outlined by Darwin.

Paddle safe...
DS

2 comments:

steve said...

You make no mention of Humanus Travelus, a subspecies that have learned to move to warmer climes in times of extreme cold. This enables them to mimic Humanus Activus and keep all their attractive features all year round.

Silbs said...

You are correct and, in fact, I considered including that subspecies. It is not clear, however, whether or not they are simply a mutation or gene translocation of the hibernators. Research will tell.