1Cause (an egg, female animal, or plant) to develop a new individual by introducing male reproductive material.
- Biologists knew from studies on a wide range of animals that males compete with other males to fertilize eggs and that females choose potential mates based on the males' appearance and, perhaps, even on their sperm.
- The male then fertilizes the eggs and the female keeps them in her mouth for a few days until they hatch, thus earning the epithet mouth-brooder.
- This procedure is repeated until all the eggs are laid, with the male looping himself round the female each time to fertilize the eggs as she lays them.
2Make (soil or land) more fertile or productive by adding suitable substances to it.
- At the end of the nineteenth century, burning forest biomass to clear land and fertilize the soil was used only occasionally on the Continent.
- They will build a dam for the cattle to drink from, and they will fertilize the soil with manure.
- When the only other dead member of our party died, we buried him in the soil to fertilize the land.
- Example sentences
- These sexual differences are reflected in the operational sex ratio; the ratio of fertilizable females to sexually active males at the site and time when mating occurs.
- Because female Collared Flycatchers only lay one clutch per season, the proportion of fertilizable females declines as the proportion of incubating females increase.
- This, and the consequent high ratio of sexually active males to fertilizable females, causes the males to be rather indiscriminate and the females to exert careful mate choice.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: fer¦til|ize
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