The idea that self-inflicted organismal death could be adaptive sounds, at face value, absurd. An adaptation is a trait that is suitable for the current circumstances or environmental challenges, and archetypal examples include traits that promote survival. Natural selection is the mechanism that produces adaptations. In describing natural selection, Darwin (1859) emphasized the struggle for survival: Two canine animals in a time of dearth may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle for life against the drought. How could an inherited trait that promotes death, rather than survival, possibly be adaptive. The only one in which the mechanism promoting death is an adaptation.