Temperature and embryonic development in polar marine invertebrates
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Get accessAbstractThe life-history tactics of many Antarctic marine invertebrates suggest that the commonly observed slow rates of growth are adaptations to the pattern of food availability, and not due to low temperature per se. This implies that marine invertebrates have been able, over the course of evolutionary time, to compensate their rates of embryonic development for the effect of temperature. Data from north Atlantic copepods indicate that this is so. It is therefore suggested that the slow rates of embryonic development in many Antarctic marine invertebrates are the result of large egg size, and not the low temperature. Large, slowly developing eggs are part of a suite of tactics, often called K-strategies, which characterise many marine invertebrates in Antarctica.