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What is parental care? A look at how different animal species care for their young. The saltwater crocodile of Northern Australia builds a nest and lays several dozen eggs. The sex of the young is determined by the incubation temperature of the eggs. She is a formidable mother to her young. The spectacled bear of South America is surprisingly affectionate towards its young. The cubs are born at an early stage in their development in a den, the den acting as an incubator. The mother provides intensive care for the first three months. Grizzly bears teach their young to swim and hunt for food in a variety of locations. The polar bear makes a cavern for her cubs which she keeps warm with her own body heat.
Primary Class Clips
This clip is from:
Primary Class Clips, The Survival of Offspring
First broadcast:
19 June 2009

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used to compare the way animals care for their young in different ways and in different habitats. Pupils could work in pairs or groups to do some in depth research into a particular species and present the information to the rest of the class. The saltwater crocodile’s example of burying their eggs in big holes could be re-enacted in the school grounds using toy eggs and covered with leaves. Pupils could choose whether their eggs are male or female and invent a story about how they grow up. A comparison could be made between the fact that these crocodiles are born with teeth with how long it takes a human baby to grow teeth and bite things. The spectacled bear's mother could be focused on how she constantly cares for the baby bear for three months and changes its bedding every day.