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Science2 - 00060

Science2 - 00060 - Untitled with a decrease in the number...

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Untitled with a decrease in the number of offspring. There is a British starfish called _Luidia_ which has two hundred millions of eggs in a year, and there are said to be several millions of eggs in conger-eels and some other fishes. These illustrate the spawning method of solving the problem of survival. Some animals are naturally prolific, and the number of eggs which they sow broadcast in the waters allows for enormous infantile mortality and obviates any necessity for parental care. But some other creatures, by nature less prolific, have found an entirely different solution of the problem. They practise parental care and they secure survival with greatly economised reproduction. This is a trend of evolution particularly characteristic of the higher animals. So much so that Herbert Spencer formulated the generalisation that the size and frequency of the animal family is inverse ratio to the degree of evolution to which the animal has attained. Now there are many different methods of parental care which secure the
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