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Re: Eggs and skill differentials
Jeff wrote: Species lay as many eggs as is needed to
keep the population stable under thier environmental conditions.
> > 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.
NJPharris chimed in:
> 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.
This is, of course, true. I was merely responding to the appearance of
group selectionist ideas in Jeff's language. Subsequent posts indicated
harmony in our positions.
> > 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.
Right. Some birds rely on concealment. Others rely on remote laying.
Some have a blend of the two. Is it appropriate to say here that because
of their relatively large size and their relative lack of remote laying
ability, that non-avian dinosaurs were relatively less able to employ
these strategies. They were, therefore, more likely to defend their
nests. I am sure that many non-avian dinosaur species were