Scientists have found the reason why our body temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit (37°C). Apparently it's the perfect balance, as it's warm enough to prevent fungal infection but not so hot that we need to eat nonstop to maintain our metabolism.
Scientists have always wondered why advanced mammals are so hot compared to other animals. And this might be the reason! Fungal species that can thrive and infect an animal typically declines by 6 percent for every 1° C rise in temperature. So, we know we need a higher body temperature to ward off fungal infection. The question is how warm?
[The scientists] devised a mathematical model that analyzed the benefits gained by body temperatures that protect against fungi versus the costs (in terms of extra food consumption) required to maintain body temperatures between 30° and 40° C. The optimal temperature for maximizing benefits while minimizing costs was found to be 36.7° C, which closely approximates normal body temperature.
Image Credit: George House Trust