Life history is the biological concept dealing with the character and evolution of the life cycle. It is a broad theory (or paradigm) used by evolutionary biologists to understand why species develop in a particular manner.

Some examples of questions posed within the framework of this theory are:

  1. What determines the age and size at sexual maturity of a population?
  2. What determines the number and relative size of offspring?
  3. What determines the reproductive lifespan of an organisms, and the onset of senescence?
  4. To what extent are characteristics, such as those listed above, determined genotypically or expressed phenotypically as a result of environmental influences.

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