Who Cares? Parenting in Invertebrate Animals (Chuang & Schwery, 2019)
"Many of us find it hard to relate to spiders or other types of invertebrates, including insects, snails, clams, jellyfish, and squid. With over a million species, invertebrates (which are animals that do not have spines) make up most of Earth's animals, and their behaviors are quite diverse. It might be surprising to hear that some invertebrates take care of their offspring by feeding, protecting, and raising them. The type of care given to offspring, including which parent is involved, generally depends on the environment these animals live in. Invertebrates often have parenting strategies that allow them to produce the greatest number of surviving offspring over the course of their lives. Since their time and energy is limited, some invertebrate species prioritize making lots of offspring over providing care, while others do the opposite. We also describe special examples of parental care, to illustrate the fascinating sacrifices some invertebrate parents make. These might not seem so different from what our own parents are willing to do for us!" (Chuang & Schwery, 2019) This article has been peer reviewed by school students.