If a species has a high mortality/birth rate, then it is able to adapt to changing environments more quickly than species that live for a long time.
Without a high mortality rate, food and other natural resources are hogged by previous generations and the gene pool is polluted when less evolved, older animals reproduce.
Because of this, wouldn't it make sense to conclude that a high mortality/birth rate is better for a species as a whole? This advantage could snowball out of control, because faster evolution would lead to superior reproduction methods which would lead to faster evolution etc...
If this is true, then why are mice not more successful and adapted to their environment?
- House mice were chosen because of their high birth and mortality rates.
Birth rate: "Approximately 6 mice can multiply into more than 60 mice in 3 months." http://www.crittercatchersinc.com/critters/Mice/Mousereproduction.html
Lifespan: 1 year http://themysteriousworld.com/top-10-shortest-living-animals-in-the-world/
- One of the reasons these traits may be more harmful than helpful is that predators benefit from a population increase. I managed to find this article in my research:
Feel free to include this source in your answer if I have interpreted it correctly. The reason I am posting this question answerless is because I am not sure enough about the conclusions I have drawn to answer it on my own and (mostly this) because I am very interested to see what other disadvantages this evolutionary strategy would have.