Sarah
Animals that were low on the food chain had more young

The sun glinted through wispy clouds that trailed over the tree line, illuminating a
lilac-breasted roller as it broke free from the tree branches on his left. Two warthogs
crossed the road ahead of him, trotting past a family of baboons. He’d seen those
animals thousands of times, but he still marveled at how they could survive when
surrounded by so many predators. Nature had its own insurance policy, he knew.
Animals that were low on the food chain had more young; female zebras, for instance,
were pregnant for all but nine or ten days a year. It was estimated that female lions, on
the other hand, had to mate more than a thousand times for every cub that reached its
first birthday. It was evolutionary balance at its finest, and though he witnessed it daily,
it still struck him as extraordinary.


Animals that were low on the food chain had more young mean?

Apr 16, 2019 3:35 PM
Comments · 6

"It was estimated that female lions, on the other hand, had to mate more than a thousand times for every cub that reached its
first birthday mean?"


It means that while female zebras were almost always pregnant, female lions had to mate more than a thousand times before they became pregnant and gave birth to a cub which would reach it's first birthday. In other words, zebras (and other animals which are low on the food chain) are very good breeders and have plenty of babies, and lions are not very good breeders (they have to try many many times to have successful pregnancies).

April 16, 2019

The "food chain" is an image about the natural world. An "apex predator" is like a lion or a shark or some other strong and powerful creature which doesn't need to worry about being eaten. Animals like that are at the "top of the chain". Animals at the bottom of the chain (or "low on the food chain") are things like chickens and squirrels. In others words, an animal which is low on the food chain needs to worry about a lot of other animals eating it. A lion doesn't need to worry about being eaten very often.


Because animals which are low on the food chain get eaten so often, they tend to have more young to replace all the ones that are lost to predators. That is what your story is trying to say.

April 16, 2019

"The food chain" means the series of living things that are linked by eating, or otherwise getting nourishment, from each other.

Lions kill and eat zebras, zebras eat grass, and grass gets its nutrition from water, sunlight, and soil minerals. This is food chain with three links: grass, gazelles, lions.

The eaters are higher on the food chain. The eaten are lower on the food chain.

Ecologists find that there are similarities in the ecology of living things depending on where they are in the food chain. For example, fish that eat other fish--fish higher in the food chain, like tuna--tend to have higher levels of mercury. 

Sparks is claiming a relationship between number of young and place in the food chain.


April 16, 2019

"It was evolutionary balance at its finest mean?"


Charles Darwin's theory of evolution explains that nature is engaged in a constant struggle for existence and that the fittest animals survive and the less fit animals die. The lion is the predator and the gazelle is the prey. However, just because the lion is the predator it doesn't mean that she can eat a gazelle any time she wants to, because the gazelle has evolved his own abilities which are "balanced" against those of the lion. For example, the gazelle is very quick and alert and the lion is very strong and stealthy. This is an "evolutionary balance". If gazelles were very slow and lazy they would have become extinct a long time ago because they would have all been eaten.


Your story is saying that the birth rate of animals is also an example of "evolutionary balance". If lions gave birth to lots and lots of babies there would be too many predators and they would all have to compete with each other for the same food. Also, if zebras had very few babies they would probably become extinct because they could not replace the population fast enough. The story is saying that the birth rate of animals is a fine example of evolutionary balance.

April 16, 2019
It was evolutionary balance at its finest mean?
April 16, 2019
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