Semelparity is a reproductive strategy in which a species only reproduces a single time before dying.
Iteroparity, by contrast, refers to a reproductive strategy in which a species may have multiple reproductive cycles over the course of its lifetime.
It seems counterintuitive that animals would be semelparous, yet many species exhibit the behavior. Typically, these animals produce significantly more offspring in a single reproductive episode than similar animals that aren’t semelparous do in any single of theirs.
The most well-known example of a semelparous organism is the Pacific salmon, which grows to maturity in the ocean, swims to the freshwater stream where it was born, spawns, and dies.
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