On Thu, October 5, 2006 11:49, markpeaty wrote:

> That said, I read with interest a year or two ago about certain kinds
> of insects [I think they are in North America somewhere] which lie
> dormant in the earth in some pre-adult stage for a PRIME number of
> years, 11, 13, were chosen by different species. Apparently the payoff
> for this strategy is that few predator species can match this length of
> time, and repeating cycles of shorter periods cannot 'resonate' so as
> to launch a large cohort of predators when the prey species produces
> its glut after waiting for the prime number of years.

An alternative hypothesis put forth, equally plausible to me, is that
different species co-evolved to be dormant different prime numbers of
years.  This would  create the minimum competition for environmental
resources as they came out of their dormant period; prime numbers having
the largest least common multiple.

Of course they didn't do this with any intention or awareness; natural
selection on random variations in dormancy period length would favor this
kind of outcome.


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