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Name: Richard F.
Status: Student
Age: 20
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

If successful species are established through their ability to survive longer in a certain environment and therefore reproduce for a longer period. Why has longevity not increased drastically?

It appears that your question answers itself. Perhaps successful reproduction is not tightly coupled to longevity.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois

It isn't how the individual survives in a population, it's how many offspring he/she leaves behind. Once the individual has reproduced, they are actually just "dead weight" on the population. So it doesn't really make sense evolutionarily to prolong the lifespan of an individual once it has reproduced.


Reproductive success is not necessarily a direct result of a long life. Many species reproduce prodiguosly in a short life span, others live long but produce fewer offspring. It is not the length of reproductive life that is crucial but the number of surviving offspring.

J. Elliott

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