Yolky eggs prepare for metabolic acceleration.

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Abstract

Embryos convert some of their reserve into structure during development. At birth, enough must be left for further maturation, which implicitly defines the minimum amount of initial reserve. The maximum amount occurs if the mother is well-fed. Yolkiness is defined as the ratio of the maximum and the minimum amounts of initial reserve of an animal egg. Embryo development is frequently slower than can be expected on the basis of late juvenile and adult development. So development accelerates during the early juvenile stage, quantified as the ratio of the lengths at metamorphosis and at birth; during acceleration maximum specific assimilation and energy conductance increase with length. Parameters of the standard DEB model have now been estimated for some 165 species, and the goodness of fit with data is typically very good. These parameters have been used to quantify yolkiness and metabolic acceleration and a clear proportionality relationship resulted. I present some suggestions for explanations in the context of life histories. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-805
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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