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Animal behavior and offspring success

Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. Created by Sal Khan.

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  • starky ultimate style avatar for user Alessandro V. Santoro
    Hello everyone! First question here!

    My question is because I don't truly understand at a 100% reproductive success. I mean, shouldn't reproductive success be the ability to produce offspring that are able to survive up to having their own offspring? Like having many offspring or producing strong offspring? Though... That definition would make humans have a low reproductive success-. However by the definition he said, humans have a high reproductive success. Is it that what he is saying is that one thing is the amount of offspring an animal produces (this being reproductive success) and the other thing that allows offspring to survive until they have their own young is animal behavior? This would be that animal behavior is related to reproductive success in making fit animals.

    And so, reproductive success and animal behavior are two pieces of the puzzle of making a fit animal!?

    Maybe that's what it is? Thanks in advance for any answers ^^ I hope anyone sees this question soon
    (2 votes)
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    • starky ultimate style avatar for user ++§ Αλεκσανδαρ
      Hey, Alessandro. Unfortunately, i didn't see your question soon, but i'll still share some of my thoughts, hoping it will be of use to you.

      Reproductive success basically includes two parameters: how many offspring can a specie produce (birthrate, or natality), and what percentage of them will survive to adulthood (survival rate).
      For an example, one female frog can cast over 1000 eggs at once. That's a very high birthrate. However, she will abandon those eggs, and leave them on their own. Only a few of those 1000 eggs will survive to adulthood, so their survival rate is low.
      On the contrary, elephant mother will have only one or two cubs every 3 to 10 years, but, unlike frogs, she will take good care of them, and most of the young ones will reach their adulthood. So, while their birthrate is low, they compensate that with a high survival rate.

      This is a very simplified description, but i hope it helps you understand what exactly does reproductive success mean.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

      (3 votes)
  • primosaur ultimate style avatar for user ♦CERTIFIED MAN♦
    for lions have there been a case where the cubs eat the mother
    (1 vote)
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  • piceratops tree style avatar for user jerome.suraj.iype
    Will parents lion kill their children if it's hunger
    (1 vote)
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  • male robot donald style avatar for user RobloxLegend
    what are pehens
    (1 vote)
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  • starky seedling style avatar for user km5729962
    i herd that black mane lions are more liked by the females is that true
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript

- Let's talk a little bit about reproductive success, which is related to the number of surviving offspring that an animal has during its lifetime. An animal that has more surviving offspring has a higher reproductive success. Now, there's two broad categories of traits or behaviors that might drive reproductive success. One might be behaviors that increase the chances of an animal producing offspring. And we know that most animals that we study, not all, but most, reproduce via sexual reproduction. To do that, they need to mate with an individual of the opposite sex. And that's why you see things like peacocks, where these very elaborate feathers are a way of signaling to members of the opposite sex, the peahens, that this peacock here has favorable traits, is attractive to the peahen, has good health, which signals to the peahen that by reproducing with this peacock, they're more likely to have reproductive success. They'll have healthier offspring, which are more likely to survive, which are more likely to then go on and reproduce. And then assuming that animals are able to mate and able to reproduce, another behavior that you will see amongst animals that will increase the chances that their offspring will survive, and then be able to reproduce themselves is parental care, or behaviors that protect offspring from predators. You see that throughout the animal kingdom. Here are some emperor penguins taking care of their young baby penguin. Here is a mother grizzly bear taking care of her bears. And here the parental care might be helping them find food, giving them food, training them, protecting them from other predators or from competitors in some way. And this isn't just amongst bears, and penguins, and potentially peacocks and peahens. It's all in service to, at least in some level, reproductive success.