at Sat Apr 5 20:17:42 2014 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tbrophy ]
At first blush, it seems reasonable to "assume" that the female with the largest clutch (or clutches) would have more offspring which could reach maturity, reproduce and contribute to the gene pool. Then she would be more important. But if the female with the smaller clutch has offspring that are larger, more robust, the she may prove to contribute more to the gene pool. Also, the female with the smaller clutch may be younger and have many more years to produce clutches than the "old girl" who deposits 30 eggs. I suppose a clutch of 30 eggs is much more likely to become lunch, than a clutch of just 8 eggs. Ultimately, we really cannot answer the question regarding which female is more important without knowing more about the selection pressure the population faces.
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