Our knowledge of ovulation rate is still very rudimentary, but that is not to say that little information is available. The literature contains a vast body of data on the subject (Cumming, 1977) but a general model, such as those that are now widely accepted for the control of the oestrous cycle (Baird & McNeilly, 1981) or of seasonal reproduction (Goodman & Karsch, 1981), is not available.
The ovulation rate of eutherian mammals is defined in two ways: (1) as the average number of eggs released in animals that ovulate, but this definition cannot produce an ovulation rate of less than 1·0 as it makes no allowance for anovulatory animals which should then be reported as a separate datum; and (2) as the average number of eggs released in a group of animals—this definition includes anovulatory animals and therefore can give values of less than 1·0. The physiological requirement for
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