Most of the imperative-directed behaviors we engage in on a daily basis are required for our personal survival. However, to achieve the fundamental imperative of species reproduction, it necessitates that we engage with others. For lower organisms, successful reproductive behavior may be nothing more than being in the right place at the right time. Female starfish release clutches of eggs into the sea, and in response neighboring male starfish reflexively shed their sperm in the vicinity of the eggs. Voilà, reproduction-imperative fulfilled. Primitive organisms, such as starfish, need not attend their fertilized eggs, and each egg will produce an individual that is self-sufficient from the moment it hatches. Simply, there is no need for parental care.
However, as one ascends the evolutionary ladder, the creation of “viable” progeny for higher organisms requires much more reproductive involvement than that necessary to bring sperm and egg together. As species complexity increased, it led to the birthing of individuals that require an extended period of gestation as well as a longer duration of postpartum nurturing before they are able to survive on their own. This is especially true for humans, whose infants necessitate an extended “education” and behavioral skills to enable them to survive and to prepare them to be effective parents for their own offspring.
Tomorrow’s topic will be on nature’s design for successful reproduction 🙂