What are the advantages and disadvantages of external and internal forms of fertilization?
External fertilization can create large numbers of offspring without requiring specialized delivery or reproductive support organs. Offspring develop and mature quickly compared to internally fertilizing species. A disadvantage is that the offspring are out in the environment and predation can account for large loss of offspring. The embryos are susceptible to changes in the environment, which further depletes their numbers. Internally fertilizing species control their environment and protect their offspring from predators but must have specialized organs to complete these tasks and usually produce fewer embryos.
Why would paired external fertilization be preferable to group spawning?
Paired external fertilization allows the female to select the male for mating. It also has a greater chance of fertilization taking place, whereas spawning just puts a large number of sperm and eggs together and random interactions result in the fertilization.