Annual life cycles take approximately 12 months or rather less to complete (Figure 4.6b, c). Usually, every individual in a population breeds during one particular season of the year, but then dies before the same season in the next year. Generations are therefore said to be discrete, in that each generation is distinguishable from every other; the only overlap of generations is between breeding adults and their offspring during and immediately after the breeding season. Species with discrete generations need not be annual, since generation lengths other than 1 year are conceivable. In practice, however, most are: the regular annual cycle of seasonal climates provides the major pressure in favor of synchrony.
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