Life history theory  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Life history theory posits that the schedule and duration of key events in an organism's lifetime are shaped by natural selection to produce the largest possible number of surviving offspring. These events, notably juvenile development, age of sexual maturity, first reproduction, number of offspring and level of parental investment, senescence and death, depend on the physical and ecological environment of the organism. Organisms have evolved a great variety of life histories, from Pacific salmon, which produce thousands of eggs at one time and then die, to human beings, which produce a few offspring over the course of decades. The theory depends on principles of evolutionary biology and ecology and is widely used in other areas of science.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Life history theory" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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