Now, I’m no mollusk but I do know that as I’ve aged I’ve slowed down . . . along with my metabolism. Turns out this is GOOD news:
Less Active Species May Live Longer
“This is what a group of researchers from the University of Kansas found after taking a close look at some extinct as well as living species . . . analyzing the physiology and evolution of as many as 299 species of aquatic mollusks — including present-day snails and slugs — over last five million years.”
“They delved into the occurrences and extinction of different species over the said period as well as their respective metabolic rates or the amount of energy each of the creature in question needed for survival.”
“Much to everyone’s surprise, the findings of the work revealed that metabolic rates make a reliable factor for predicting the likelihood of extinction of a certain animal species or community of species.”
“We found a difference for mollusk species that have gone extinct over the past 5 million years and ones that are still around today. Those that have gone extinct tend to have higher metabolic rates than those that are still living . . . those that have lower energy maintenance requirements seem more likely to survive than those organisms with higher metabolic rates.”*
“Maybe in the long-term the best evolutionary strategy for animals is to be lassitudinous and sluggish — the lower the metabolic rate, the more likely the species you belong to will survive . . . Instead of ‘survival of the fittest,’ maybe a better metaphor for the history of life is ‘survival of the laziest’ or at least ‘survival of the sluggish.'”**
I was going to go for a brisk walk but I’ll take a nap instead and . . .
I’m upset. Judy & Peggy named their other blog CATNIP because they think catnip makes you feel mellow.
If naming the blog CATNIP isn’t bad enough, they dedicated CATNIPblog to Peggy’s cat Maui*.
Personally, I think catnip makes you crazy, drives cats wild with desire and the blog should be dedicated to me.
Tell Judy & Peggy to read this, come to their senses and see that their CATNIPblog is going to pot.
DID you know what’s going on in your cat’s mind when exposed to catnip is similar to what happens to human minds on marijuana?
The oil within a catnip plant is what gives kitties the “high” feeling.
“Nepetalactone is a stimulant when sniffed by a cat, producing a “high”that is described as being similar to either marijuana or LSD. (don’t ask us how they figured this out),” veterinarian Jennifer Coates writes in PetMD:
“When a cat eats catnip, it acts as a sedative, but when smelled, it causes the cat to go crazy. It is thought to mimic feline pheromones and trigger those receptors.”
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb, specifically a member of the mint family. It’s been compared to marijuana because it looks similar to pot when both are dried.
“Control the amount of catnip and let your cats know it’s better to nip responsibly at home rather than on the street and use it only on occasion since frequent use can lead to the loss of a cat’s ability to get “high”.
“Not all cats are affected by catnip. According to Cat Behavior Associates, the “catnip response” is hereditary, and one-third of all cats lack the gene that enables them to feel the high. Even a cat who does have the gene won’t be affected by catnip until they’re at least six months old.”
Catnip definitely won’t get you humans high (don’t even think about it . . . ), and don’t give your kitty a catnip treat for working so hard at protecting you in the bathroom and bringing you presents of mice and birds (we canines would never bring you vermin).
Peggy & judy want to help you find your mellow but if it drives you wild with desire for more CATNIP I won’t be pleased.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, B.E.
*CATNIPblog was inspired by and is dedicated to Peggy’s cat Maui who lived to prove the brain can be rewired and healing is possible.
Those of you who have followed this blog or CATNIPblog know I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996. That’s approximately when my battle with eating too much – preferably carbohydrates mixed with liberal doses of refined sugar – began. I eat constantly throughout the day. If I’m bored, depressed, upset, happy, sad, tired, excited, I eat. My theory was I was self medicating, creating a dopamine surge in my brain to dull the fibro pain. Mice are now disproving my rationalization. Mice of all things. Who knew?
The Mouse “Knows” by judy
Penn neuroscientists have found that animals’ brains can suppress feelings of chronic pain when they are hungry.
The study, which was published in the science journal Cell, found that temporarily shutting down chronic pain is part of animals’ survival behaviors when searching for food.
According to a press release, approximately 300 neurons are capable of shifting the brain’s focus to hunger, thus eclipsing the effect of chronic pain.
The researchers apparently didn’t set out expecting that hunger would influence pain sensation so significantly, but when they saw these behaviors unfold, it made sense to them. “If you’re an animal, it doesn’t matter if you have an injury, you need to be able to overcome that in order to go find the nutrients you need to survive.”
Experiments were conducted on mice and found that compared to their well-fed counterparts, hungry mice had less of a response to inflammatory pain. The effect of hunger on mice is similar to that of an anti-inflammatory painkiller, the report said.
The Penn team also discovered that the neurotransmitter NPY is primarily responsible for selectively suppressing pain responses. This research could potentially be applied in humans to ameliorate chronic pain after injuries and serve as an alternative to opioid medications.
Naked Mole Rat sez: “At your service. We rodents are here to help”.
Since my human judy fractured her ankle all she does is sit around moaning and nothing I do can get her outside. So I take my Peggy for walks every day where we are inspired by nature which in turn inspires my creative writing endeavors.
P.S. Some of this story is auto-biographical but names have been eliminated so I don’t get sued.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a tree.(I frequently start my writing with “Once upon a time” as it lends a universal appeal to readers young and old.) Its trunk was crooked and all its bark was peeling. Big roots spread all around the tree, some deep in the earth and some growing above the ground. The Tree lived in a park with other trees of its own kind on the far edge of town. Every day many dogs of differing sizes and persuasions came to claim the tree as their territory.
One day, after years of being claimed,the tree yelled at a big black dog with pointy ears and a black nose sniffing around its roots, “I am NOT your territory!” The big black dog didn’t care what the tree thought, claimed it for its own and walked on looking for more territory.
Within minutes a little white dog with floppy ears and a wet nose sniffed out where the big black dog had been. “I am a tree not a fire hydrant!,” the tree yelled at the little white dog who ignored the tree, claimed it for its own and walked on looking for more territory.
The tree, ever alert for impending indignities, spotted a medium-sized dog with shaggy brown hair and a pink nose approaching. Finally, after many years of being claimed by many dogs, the tree figured out that actions speak louder than words. So it picked up its roots and walked away.
The end of my tail
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDN Canine Dog Novelist
There’s a new post on Forest Bathing. Please tell judy she won’t need to take off her clothes or use soap or water. She can wear her big boot that protects her ankle and I’ll help her meander.