The Elements of Evolution (51-5-1) Fertility


Fertility also has great diversity. Women are fertile for a relatively short mid-section of their lives. A similar fertility period is seen in some other mammals, including chimps, orca, and chamois, and in sparrow hawks.

Some species become more fertile with age. This pattern is especially common in plants.

Others start life fertile, then quickly lose the ability to produce offspring. The soil-dwelling roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is exemplary.