Question Video: Relating Life Span to Number of Organisms Produced | Nagwa Question Video: Relating Life Span to Number of Organisms Produced | Nagwa

Question Video: Relating Life Span to Number of Organisms Produced Biology • Third Year of Secondary School

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A list of organisms and their typical lifespan (in the wild) is given below: (1) Human body louse: Up to 30 days. (2) Lion: 10–14 years. (3) Blue whale: 80–90 years. (4) Clown fish: 6–10 years. Which organism would you expect to produce the largest amount of offspring per successful fertilization?

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Video Transcript

A list of organisms and their typical lifespan, in the wild, is given below. (1) Human body louse: up to 30 days. (2) Lion: 10 to 14 years. (3) Blue whale: 80 to 90 years. (4) Clown fish: six to 10 years. Which organism would you expect to produce the largest amount of offspring per successful fertilization?

This question presents a list of organisms with their typical lifespans and asks which is expected to produce the largest number of offspring. Recall that the number of offspring that an organism produces is usually dependent on a few factors. One of these factors includes how much parental care the organism can invest. An organism’s reproductive strategy is often described in terms of quality versus quantity. All organisms have a fixed amount of energy that they can expend, like, for example, most fish dedicate all of this energy into producing a large quantity of offspring, of which only a few will survive. On the other hand, some organisms will invest all of their energy into producing one or two new organisms with a high survival rate.

The relationship between the typical lifespan of an organism and how many offspring it produces per successful fertilization event is usually an inverse relationship. This means that as one variable increases, the other will decrease. So an organism that lives for a very long time is expected to produce only one or two high-quality offspring and care for that offspring over the course of its lifetime. On the other hand, an organism that only lives for a very short time can be expected to produce large quantities of offspring.

Now that we’ve reviewed this relationship, we can answer our question correctly. The organism that we would expect to produce the largest amount of offspring per successful fertilization would be the one with the shortest lifespan. The correct answer is, therefore, the human body louse.

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