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Individual organism, distinct from its parent, or group of such organisms found in the same population making up a cohort consisting of similar ages.
The concept of generation thus varies. Certainly an offspring represents a different generation from that of its parent. This same idea can be applied to groups of organisms if the timing of reproduction tends to be confined to a single season, once a year.
The question of what constitutes the same or different generations, particularly within groups, becomes complicated, however, if such timing is less constrained. The concept is also complicated further by iteroparity, i.e., where parents display multiple reproductive episodes over their lifetimes. Nonetheless, in comparing individual parents to individual offspring, it is safe to describe these two individuals as representing different generations.
The concept of generation has yet additional meanings including to "bring forth" or produce. This latter meaning, for example, can be seen in the phrase spontaneous generation.
See also generation time, P generation, F1 generation, and F2 generation. See also alternation of generations.
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