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Mouthbrooding Fish

Description:  Lake Malawi contains a curious species of fish (ciclid) that hold their offspring in their mouth as they grow and develop. The eggs are fertilized and then help in the mouth until the offspring are able to survive on their own. The parents can still feed while they are taking care of the young but they will generally not feed as much. This phenomenon could be used to explore parental care and could be extended to discuss evolution of this interesting adaptation in this lake.

Web Resource:  Mouthbrooding - Wikipedia

 
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Male Water Bug with Eggs

Description:  Water bugs show parental care for their offspring. The eggs are laid on the back of the male and he guards them for roughly a week before the nymphs emerge. This phenomenon could be used to show how the behavior of parents helps the offspring survive. Offspring of these (and other invertebrates) could also be compared to show inheritance and variation.

Web Resource:  Water Bug Breeding - Wikipedia

 

Shrew Caravan

Description:  Shrews spend most of their lives underground and therefore have very poor eyesight. They rely primarily on their highly developed senses of smell and hearing. When a mother shrew wants to move all of her offspring from one location to another (particularly above ground) each shrew will hold onto the shrew in front forming a long caravan. This could be used as a phenomenon to introduce animal behaviors, especially those of a parent to ensure the safety of their offspring.

Web Resource:  Common Shrew - Wikipedia

 

Cute Baby Animals

Description:  Why are baby animals (e.g. kittens and puppies) so cute? This phenomenon can be used in Grade One to show that baby animals look like, but not exactly like their parents and how their appearance leads to parental care that allows them to survive. The reason that we as humans find most baby animals cute has its roots in evolutionary biology. Humans babies are helpless when they are born and require parental care for years. We find baby animals cute because they resemble cute baby humans.

Web Resources:  BBC - Why are baby animals so cute?

 
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