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I have a species of megafaunal carnivore that are extremely mobile with territories spanning hundreds of square miles and lifespans of 120-150 years. They lay clutches of 2-3 eggs every 20-30 years,but their eggs often go into an extended period of diapause which can last at a maximum of 130 years. They eggs do not have to worry about high predation risks due to noxious taste and toxins, and are often laid in locations that are hard to reach such as mountaintops. Egg abandonment is a very common process in these species with parents abandoning nests if a rival enters their territory or if they are not able to care for the soon to hatch young. To hatch the eggs must be exposed to an extended period of warmth (temperatures exceeding 75 degrees fahrenheit) or being exposed to high concentrations of pheromones from another of their species for an extended amount of time. Finally, my question, How would the random births (hatchings) of organisms that could potentially be older than adult organisms that are currently alive?

  • Would this cause a species wide homogenization of traits or genes due to random influx of genes last seen in action over a century ago?
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    $\begingroup$ My initial reaction is that this won't cause excessive homogenization. They're not guaranteed to even hatch, maybe 3% of them eventually do so. And with the lifespan what it is anyway, you're only doubling that for those 3%... genes are already in the pool from 100 years ago from the oldest specimens, this bumps that up slightly higher for a small number. $\endgroup$ – John O Mar 30 at 19:34
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This would have very little effect on gene distribution because the time span of a hundred years or so that the eggs lay dormant is so short compared to the time span that evolution operates over which is in the thousands and millions of years.

There would be no homogenisation of genes as all animals in the species would be subject to selection pressure from the environment at all times. For any interesting effects to occur the eggs would need to remain dormant for many hundreds of thousands of years.

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It would not cause homogenization, as per Slarty, but it would affect evolution a different way. Survival of the fittest means that the fraction of the population best suited to an environment is going to reproduce the most, and pass down their specific traits to the next generation. When the environment changes, so would the species.

Your species has a ~150 year lag behind every change in climate, predators, prey, etcetera. The adults that are best suited for the new environment will start reproducing more, but for the next century and change, the eggs hatching will be those of less suitable members. Massive die-offs would ensue, followed by population booms as soon as the new, adapted eggs hatch. Evolution would not be absent but it would definitely be funky.

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