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Finding a female

YearRangeCurriculumStrand

4-6
7-8
9-10

Middle Primary
Upper Primary
Lower Secondary

Science


Nature of Science
Living World



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Overview

In this activity, students play a card game that models the journey of a male pea crab (a parasite of green-lipped mussels) from his mussel host and back again. 

Purpose

This activity will help students to grasp one aspect of pea crab biology – the risky journey of a male pea crab (a parasite of green-lipped mussels) to locate a female crab in another mussel and fertilise her eggs. The card game works as a model of the mate location process. It helps students to explore why scientists think pheromones are likely to be important in the crab’s reproductive strategy. The activity also provides a good introduction to discussions about the future biocontrol of pea crabs, which may involve the use of crab pheromones.

Keywords

Green-lipped mussel, pea crab, pheromone, role play, reproductive strategy, risk

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