With this resource, students develop observation skills by investigating the phenomenon of ‘mate-guarding’ in brine shrimp. Following a teacher-led discussion, students generate hypotheses. For example, one of the hypotheses may be that larger females pair with larger males.

These may be tested experimentally by students; (a) setting up pair-choice experiments; and (b) measuring the relative sizes of paired individuals.

The tank of brine shrimp is also a good example of an ecosystem and nutrient cycling: adult shrimps will regularly and naturally die in the container after some weeks. In this case their remains will quickly rot, and are further decomposed by bacteria. Nutrients are returned to the ecosystem through plant cell uptake in fresh algal growth.

The Survival Rivals resources were produced by the Wellcome Trust.

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