I was reading about Trypophobia and reached to Surinam Toad's reproduction methods. Then I had this doubt- Why would animals want to reproduce so much? In case of humans we mostly have the offsprings nearby for entire life, so some of them may take care of us. But in case of many other animals after birth they have no connection with their parents.

So why do they always try to reproduce in large quantities in entire life time? What they achieve in this?


closed as unclear what you're asking by AliceD, rg255, AMR, MattDMo, March Ho Jan 14 '16 at 20:36

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  • $\begingroup$ Life begets life. If organisms didn't reproduce, their species would die out. Simple as that. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jan 14 '16 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ I think the introduction on trypophobia is not necessary. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jan 14 '16 at 5:38
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    $\begingroup$ I don't get why people are voting to close this Q as "opinion-based". This is clearly answerable from the perspective of evolution of life histories. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Jan 14 '16 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater I agree that this question is not opinion-based, but it is rather unclear, and in any case it is rather broad. Organisms would be selected for optimal levels of reproduction, those that reproduce too little or too much would be selected against. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Jan 14 '16 at 20:36

Why organisms reproduce

If they didn't reproduce, they would die out.

More concretely, suppose an animal is born with a mutation that removes the desire to reproduce. That animal will not have any offspring, so its genes will not be passed on to the next generation. When that animal dies, that mutation will die with it.

Why some organisms reproduce a lot

Different animals or other organisms have differing strategies for reproduction, based on their ecology. Some animals, like the Surinam toad, try to have a lot of offspring with relatively little "investment" (of energy, time, effort, etc.) in each one. Many of the offspring will die, but enough will survive that the organism's genes can persist. Other animals, like elephants, only have a few offspring but spend a lot of effort in making sure those few offspring survive.

You can read more about this in the Wikipedia article on life history theory.


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