Mother Natures Mothers!

Hello, again my loyal and lovely readers!

Friday has come around which can only mean one thing - post day. In the great anticipation of Mothers Day 2017, I thought we could take a look at some mothers in Nature that will make all of ours look like angels! 

Burying Beetles:

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The story begins when a mother beetle lays her larvae in the carcas of a mouse that they have buried underground. Larvae are unable to feed themselves, thereby, making them reliant on their mother to eat the meat and then regurgitate it. At feeding time, it is first come, first served as the larvae compete to get to the front of the line. Mother burying beetles only regurgitate a certain amount of food each time making the stakes high for the larvae who want to get fed. When the food runs out the last remaining starving larvae become the mother's meal!

Cruel as this sounds, mother burying beetles are making the best of a situation they, cannibalise on their own offspring as a way of ensuring that there is enough food to supply the rest. The saying Cruel to be Kind is coming to mind here.


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I know what you're thinking. Pandas 'bad mothers'? No way, they are the symbol for the World Wildlife Fund - well stick with me guys. Pandas have two babies on average, but like in many scenarios, the mother always has a favourite. This 'chosen' individual will benefit from all of the mother's resources and her time, leaving their small, weak and helpless sibling to fend for itself. The outcome of this will almost always be the death of the baby. 

In nature, this may be a mother's way of carrying out her own version of quality control. Instead of having two average offspring, the mother put all her resources into one to increase the chances of their survival.

Black Eagle:

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For everyone out there with younger or older siblings, then you know that sibling 'squabbles' are an inevitability. However, I think the majority of us can agree that they rarely end too violently...The chicks of Black Eagle's are locked in a battle of death from the moment they hatch, with older siblings murdering their younger siblings, all under the watchful eye of their mummy. 

This behaviour is common in large predatory birds as it helps the mother to allocate resources to those who survive the mini version of the hunger games. Strangely enough, these mothers are looking out for the continuity of the species by choosing the strongest offspring. 

Komodo Dragons:

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Surprise Surprise right? I know reptiles are not known for their amazing parental skills just look at the episode of Planet Earth where baby marine iguanas were left to face the garter snakes all on their own! 
It was an emotionally gripping episode, but let's turn our focus to dragons. Komodo's are the apex predators on a group of small islands in South Indonesia meaning that there isn't much on the island that is off the menu for a full sized Komodo Dragon - even other dragons. You know it's bad when your on mother looks at you as a potential food source from the moment you hatched!  Due to the threat of parental cannibalism young dragons will spend the first few years of their life up in the trees.  

There you have it, my lovely people, a mother's day post with a twist! Just in the nick of time to help you appreciate your mother even more now, so go forth and go that little bit extra this Mothers Day. To all the mothers and maternal figures whether they still be with us or not... I wish you a Happy Mothers Day. 
And to my special Mum who is my best friend 
Love you loads and a massive thank you for not being like any of the mothers mentioned in this post!
Have an awesome weekend everybody

Science in the City

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