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The allometry of primate reproductive parameters

Rudder, B; (1979) The allometry of primate reproductive parameters. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study is based on the comparison of quantative information on the reproduction and development of individual species classified within a single mammalian order, the Primates. The main method of comparison uses logarithmic transformation of values, derived from the literature, zoological garden records and the author's observations, following the established analytical approach known as interspecific allometry. The interrelation of rates, ages and sizes of the average species members at different periods in the life cycle are examined principally in terms of energy flow. Since there is some confusion in the literature concerning the value of such analysis, attention is also given to questions of theory and method. / The three results sections deal in turn with: 1) the foetal growth period; discussion includes associated relations in placental morphology, the growth of brain and body and the energetic stress on the mother 2) the postnatal growth period; discussion involves the associations of seasonality with the relatively rapid postnatal growth of strepsirhine infants, and of maternal milk production to haplorhine infant growth 3) the reproductive potential of the species; discussion includes the relation of body size and ecology with the potential for population growth. The primates are established as the most efficient users of energy for the maintenance of living tissue for their size. / The discussion of both theory and the found results elaborates on thermodynamic concepts of life. Not only do primates have great complexity in their physiology and ecological relations but this complexity is expressed in the ability of these living forms to preserve both physiology and population structure from the random disruptive effects of the environment. A short section is included on the evolution of Homo sapiens.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The allometry of primate reproductive parameters
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503538
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