'Prodigousness', a new - and suitably objective - term for apparent extravagance in Nature

THE PROBLEM

Various organisms seem unnecessarily extravagant - even wasteful - in their allocation of resources to certain structures and functions of life.

This constitutes a scientific - i.e. biological as opposed to philosophical - puzzle.

By resources, I mean materials, energy, and opportunities in the sense of 'opportunity costs' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost).

A classic example is the masculine tail of the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1204-Pavo-cristatus, https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/98/12/06/specials/cronin-ant.html).

However, an even more puzzling anatomical example is the large antlers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antler) of various spp. of Cervidae.

These annually shed-and-regrown bony structures consume orders of magnitude more phosphorus and other nutrients than are devoted to the permanent - and relatively small - head adornments of comparable Bovidae (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovidae).

An example in the realm of energetics, rather than anatomy as such, is the stotting gaits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stotting) of herbivores such as the Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8DweS5Z684 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?taxon_id=143865)

In scientific enquiry and rigorous thinking, it is important to use words as precisely as possible.

For this reason, neither 'extravagant' nor its various synonyms are apt in a purely biological context.

All of them - including 'prodigal' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Prodigal_Son) - have moral overtones (https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/extravagant).

More particularly, the moral implication of the existing words tends to be one of 'wantonness', or even sinfulness.

A SOLUTION

What is ideally needed is a word combining

  • unambiguousness,
  • precision in meaning, and
  • scientific objectivity.

For the above reasons, I have invented a new term, while taking care to adhere to sound etymological principles.

The word 'prodigal' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nttqb8GvneU) derives from the Latin adjective 'prodigus', meaning 'lavish'.

This same word-root can easily be rendered to 'prodigous' instead of 'prodigal' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrmWACALQcU).

The only difference is '-ous' instead of '-al'. Please see https://www.perplexity.ai/search/In-the-English-XWU6c7epTLOzcbiT3IAFNA.

Please note that the word 'prodigious', spelt with an 'i' after a 'soft g', has

I thus introduce to Biology two new words, namely the adjective 'prodigous' (pronounced with a hard 'g'), and its corresponding abstract noun 'prodigousness'.

An example of how to use 'prodigous' is as follows:

"The head adornments of the extinct deer Megaloceros (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaloceros) are so prodigous that they may seem to have been maladaptive. However, what are needed are rigorous analyses of costs vs benefits, to reveal the real adaptive values of extreme sexual dimorphism in the context of natural selection in a past environmental regime in the Pleistocene".

Publicado el mayo 13, 2024 09:17 MAÑANA por milewski milewski

Comentarios

Boselaphus tragocamelus contrasts greatly with like-size cervids in having head adornments of minimal size.

Males fight by neck-wrestling, not sparring by means of the horns.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6IZapiZQzE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vepmXwNCl0

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=male+nilghai+fighting&sca_esv=4b05976ec6fa0ef5&sxsrf=ADLYWIIJXQoMlXUgUz_tA5C7l-7Z6GVIWg%3A1715647361596&source=hp&ei=gbNCZpjYIu2RseMPmIg7&iflsig=AL9hbdgAAAAAZkLBkaJpVHh94hUR36pHAINyjdgFEyUd&oq=M&gs_lp=Egdnd3Mtd2l6IgFNKgIIADIEECMYJzIEECMYJzIEECMYJzIREAAYgAQYkQIYsQMYgwEYigUyERAAGIAEGJECGLEDGIMBGIoFMhEQLhiABBixAxjRAxiDARjHATIOEAAYgAQYsQMYgwEYigUyDhAAGIAEGLEDGIMBGIoFMggQABiABBixAzILEAAYgAQYsQMYgwFIoyJQqhZYqhZwAXgAkAEAmAHYAaAB2AGqAQMyLTG4AQHIAQD4AQGYAgKgAvkBqAIKwgIHECMYJxjqApgDCuIDBRIBMSBAkgcFMS4wLjGgB6sK&sclient=gws-wiz#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:4e354396,vid:M7VacSzuSpc,st:0

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Male+nilghai+fighting&sca_esv=4b05976ec6fa0ef5&sxsrf=ADLYWIIBdzK7q9sPFX02T8oSw148FrW8Cw%3A1715647172524&source=hp&ei=xLJCZrTSHZaVseMPs-u_yAs&iflsig=AL9hbdgAAAAAZkLA1IujfndPLBI53GUIQgB5Ta_BPIcd&ved=0ahUKEwi0xJri84uGAxWWSmwGHbP1D7kQ4dUDCBc&uact=5&oq=Male+nilghai+fighting&gs_lp=Egdnd3Mtd2l6IhVNYWxlIG5pbGdoYWkgZmlnaHRpbmcyBxAhGKABGAoyBxAhGKABGApIyX1Q-g5Y6lBwAXgAkAEAmAGoAqAB_SaqAQQyLTIxuAEDyAEA-AEBmAIWoALZKKgCCsICBxAjGCcY6gLCAgQQIxgnwgIQEAAYgAQYsQMYQxiDARiKBcICCxAAGIAEGLEDGIMBwgIREC4YgAQYsQMY0QMYgwEYxwHCAg4QABiABBixAxiDARiKBcICCBAAGIAEGLEDwgIFEAAYgATCAgsQLhiABBixAxiDAcICCxAAGIAEGJECGIoFwgILEC4YgAQYkQIYigXCAggQLhiABBixA8ICCxAuGIAEGMcBGK8BwgIOEC4YgAQYsQMYgwEYigXCAg4QABiABBiRAhixAxiKBcICDhAuGIAEGJECGLEDGIoFwgIFEC4YgATCAgoQABiABBgUGIcCwgILEAAYgAQYhgMYigXCAggQABiABBiiBMICBhAAGBYYHsICCBAAGKIEGIkFwgIHEC4YgAQYDcICCBAAGAgYDRgewgIKEAAYCBgNGB4YD8ICBhAAGA0YHpgDDpIHCDEuMC4yMC4xoAfUnAE&sclient=gws-wiz#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:564c57f1,vid:7cla2REN0bY,st:0

Females of B. tragocamelus likewise engage in contests by neck-wrestling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y6DcbbnKpA

Publicado por milewski hace 2 meses

Pedal flag in Boselaphus tragocamelus

https://bloodorigins.org/nilgai-hunting/

Publicado por milewski hace 2 meses

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