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Reproduction
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Reproduction

Reproduction is the creation of one thing as a copy of, product of, or replacement for a similar thing, e.g. photocopying.

It is perhaps most commonly used in the context of biological reproduction and sex:

There are a wide range of reproductive strategies employed by different species.

Some animals, like the human (sexually mature after adolescence) and Northern Gannet (5-6 years), produce few offspring. Others reproduce quickly, but unless raised in an artificial environment, most offspring do not survive to adults. A rabbit (mature after 8 months) produces 10 - 30 offsprings per year, a Nile Crocodile (15 years) produces 50, and a fruit fly (10-14 days) produces up to 900. Both strategies can be favoured by evolution: animals with few offspring can spend time nurturing and protecting them, hence greatly decreasing the need to reproduce; on the other hand, animals with many offspring do not need to spend parental energy on nurturing, allowing more energy to be devoted to survival and more breeding.

These two strategies are known as K-selection (few offspring) and r-selection (many offspring). Which strategy is favoured depends on a wide range of circumstances.

See also

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