Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th, 2021 (Eastern Time) and the Yahoo Answers website is now in read-only mode. There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page.

Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 2 months ago

Who do animals guard their eggs? or take care of their offspring at all? how does that benefit them?

4 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    It enables their genes to be passed on.

  • M
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    We often talk about survival of the species but that is a false idea. Think about male lions taking over a pride of lionesses. They kill all infant lions in that pride. If survival of the species were the key then that behaviour would not be readily explained. However, what happens is that each individual in reproducing does in order to pass on its genes. That is why male lions behave the way they do. It is to greatly incease the chance of their genes being passed onto the next generation.

    When it is possible to do so species will guard their eggs and/or protect their young so that they survive. There are extremes of this with many different scenarios inbetween. At one end are those species that lay huge numbers of eggs and then provide no care for them. Many of those eggs or their hatchlings will not survive. However, by laying huge number of eggs even if only a small percentage survive then some will.

    The opposite extreme is where a female gives birth to live young and which then receives parental care for many years. In this case because only a single young is born a lot of care goes into ensuring that individual survives.

    So guarding eggs and providing parental care is to ensure some offspring make it beyond at least infancy.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Parental care of the young or the eggs is uncommon in nature. There are benefits to providing parental care, and that is the increased likelihood that the eggs or young will survive. Many animals lay thousands of eggs ad some lay as many as millions of eggs so that some of them may survive to adulthood. OTOH, almost all mammals have live birth and as a result not as many young or eggs as other animals, such as frogs. Some mammals only give birth to a single young at a time. For example, primates, ungulate mammals, whales and bats only give birth to one young at a time. By providing parental care, the single young has a good chance of surviving long enough to reproduce. 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It benefits the group of genes that promote that behaviour. So the selection is at the level of genes rather than individual members of the species. This was the insight behind Dawkins' book The Selfish Gene.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.