Are you a fan of the 19th Century

scientist, Charles Darwin?

If so, this website is for you!  

 

This website aims to draw together key publications, media and websites on Charles Darwin for the enthusiast.

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Darwin & The Stag Beetles - Lesson Ideas

1) Discuss the ecology and biology of stag beetles. Study the life cycle of

stag beetles and look at the difference in appearance

between male and female stag beetles.  Watch stag beetles fighting.  Look at

a diagram of how their wings fold out. Make a paper stag beetle.

Use the following worksheet.

 

 

Beetle1clip stag beetle worksheet

2) Look at another species that uses a similar technique in winning over the right to mate with femaies eg. red deer. Watch videos of red deer males (stags)  bellowing and fighting and look at the difference between the appearance of stags and does pictured.  Find out some fun facts about deer.

This is an example of convergent evolution - the independent evolution of  apparently similar structures, features or traits in organisms of different lines of descent (unrelated lineages) . Look at the example of use of sonar by different species or the appearance of flight in different animals,  if you want to pursue this further.

 

SUMMARY OF LEARNING POINTS IN THE STORY

 

* Males within a population may compete with each other to assess  the strength of opponents.  By winning, the individual has a chance to 'win' females and pass on his traits to the next generation.

* There are multitudes of niches in which animals and plants can live; stag beetle grubs  fill a long-term niche by feeding on buried, rotting wood for many years.