Raising baby animals in the animal kingdom is not an easy task. Shelter, sources of food and protection from predators are top priorities to rearing young. This responsibility falls on the parents of the offspring -- but, while some species have super-dads that care for their young attentively, other species abandon their young, or have little to do with rearing their offspring.
Male grizzly bears use their sense of smell while roaming their territory of about 1,500 square miles in search for a female to reproduce with. Once the male has mated with the female grizzly bear, he doesn't have anything further to do with the future cubs. The cubs are reared by their mother for two to three years, without any participation from the father. Similarly, male polar bears also do not have any involvement in rearing their young. A male polar bear follows a female breeding polar bear for miles, with the intention of mating with her. The male polar bear physically fights for mating rights against other male polar bears in the area who want to mate with the same female. Once a male polar bear wins the fight to mate with the chosen female, they mate repeatedly for up to one week. The male polar bear then leaves the female and doesn't have any involvement in raising his offspring -- the responsibility is the sole responsibility of the mother. Both grizzly and polar bears will occasionally kill or eat cubs when hunting for food, not knowing they are his own offspring.
Male lions do not actively participate in the rearing of their offspring. The mother lion takes on the parenting responsibilities, including hunting for food to feed the young. However, the male lion doesn't abandon his young; they are part of his pride. Male lions protect their pride, including the young, by defending their territory against intruders and predators. This protection of his pride is the only involvement the male lion has with his offspring.
A male sand goby takes on the task of guarding his fertilized eggs from predators. Although he takes this responsibility seriously, the sand goby also feels the need to participate in the next mating season. To speed up the process of guarding the fertilized eggs, the sand goby will eat about a third of them, consuming the largest ones first because the larger eggs take more time to hatch. By snacking on the larger eggs, the sand goby shortens the time frame that he has to guard the eggs and, leaving his new fry behind, can get back out to breed again.
The male assassin bug's only involvement with his young is narrowed down to one task: protecting the fertilized eggs until they hatch. While this task seems like a kind fatherly duty, the male assassin bug actually eats some of the eggs, known as filial cannibalism. The male eats the eggs located on the outer edges of the egg sack. Instinctively this is done to protect and guarantee safety from predators for the eggs in the middle of the sack. Consumption of the eggs also provides the father assassin bug with nutrients, since he is unable to forage for food during the period of time he is protecting the eggs. The assassin bug has no further involvement or participation in rearing his offspring.
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