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Re: Big = Old = Advanced?

It might be worth pointing out, in the wake of discussions about size vs
clutch size, that the Guinness record for number of eggs laid - estimated
in the hundreds of thousands, I believe - at once is held by the Ocean
Sunfish _Mola mola_, a very large fish indeed.

Many tropical forest birds lay smaller clutches than their temperate
relatives, with size not being a factor at all.  Further, some scorpions
(which are not large animals) lay small clutches to which they devote an
almost mammalian level of parental care.

In short, the correlation between size and clutch size is not clear.  What
might be more valid is to point out that animals that do not keep their
young in nests or dens may not be able to produce more than one or two
young because these young have to be born in an advanced enough state of
development to walk or even run very shortly after birth - and this fits
most large herbivorous mammals, but may not have been the case with large
herbivorous dinosaurs (it apparently was not the case with Maiasaura
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net