The 'paradox' of polyembryony: A review of the cases and a hypothesis for its evolution

Journal Article (Review;Journal)

Animal polyembryony appears to be paradoxical because it clones an unproven genotype at the expense of genetic diversity in a clutch. However, it is employed by at least 18 taxa in six phyla (excluding instances of occasional twinning). Most polyembryony occurs in parasitic stages or in other environments whose quality is not predictable by the mother; in some instances, it compensates for a constraint on zygote number. We predict that polyembryony is likely to evolve when the offspring has more information regarding optimal clutch size than the parents.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Craig, SF; Slobodkin, LB; Wray, GA; Biermann, CH

Published Date

  • January 1, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 127 - 143

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0269-7653

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1023/A:1018443714917

Citation Source

  • Scopus