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Re: Eggs and skill differentials

In a message dated 97-08-27 03:23:06 EDT, jbois@umd5.umd.edu writes:

> >      What makes you think it is?  Species lay as many eggs as is needed
>  > keep the population stable under thier environmental conditions.  What
>  > makes you think the dinosaurs were not laying exactly as many eggs as
>  > needed to make up the difference?
>  It would be nice if this is the way populations worked.  Apparently,
>  though, _individuals_ work for their own selfish needs.  The needs of the
>  group are "considered" only inasmuch as they forward the needs of the
>  individual.  

I'm not sure how this follows from Jeff's argument.  However, I think I will
have to agree with Jeff here.  Any _individual_ that either wastes resources
on huge numbers of eggs with no chance of survival or doesn't lay enough eggs
that some survive will quickly be weeded out of the gene pool.

>  That is birds ahve a skill differential (wings) between themselves and the
>  mammals (for example). 

A number of birds (corvids, for example, and skuas) are nest predators over
which the prey species have no skill differential.  Also, many bird nests are
in trees, which leaves them open to predation from snakes and arboreal
mammals as well.