The Elements of Evolution (51-4-2) Full Lives

 Full Lives

The ability to perceive and react to a dynamic environment is a key behavioural and ecological trait. ~ Irish zoologist Kevin Healy et al

Many of the interactions that shape behavior and ecology rely on the rate that an animal can process sensory information. Body size and metabolic rate constrain how an animal interacts with its environment.

Smaller animals interact more quickly while larger live longer at a more leisurely pace. The patience of a primate is correlated to its body size: smaller ones with higher metabolism lose patience more quickly. This measure is, of course, in absolute time. Relatively, based on rate of living, a smaller animal is just as patient.

There is a whole world of detail out there that only some animals can perceive. ~ Irish zoologist Andrew Jackson

The pace at which an animal lives and its perception of time is tied to its nominal lifespan. The trade-offs of life-history variables that determine rate-of-living and lifespan provide a rough constant: the existential experience of life is equally rich for all animals. The same may apply to plants and other organisms as well.

With a quicker mind at work, fast lives are as full as those that are lived more slowly; hence the full-life hypothesis, related to rate-of-living.