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Crayfish – Crazy Life Cycle

Episode:65Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment

Suggested curriculum levels:4 – 8

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Nature of Science Living World

Description:Learn all about the fascinating world of lobster larvae with Rick Webber.

Questions for students

  1. The Tale uses some different names for crayfish. Find out the scientific name and add the Māori and common names. Do they all refer to the same species? What features show that something belongs to this species?
  2. The first larval stage of crayfish is called phyllosoma; the post-larval stage that swims to shore is called puerulus. Use information from this Tale to make a flow chart of the life cycle of crayfish. For each stage, describe where it takes place and the risks to survival. Explain how crayfish meet those challenges. What is 'crazy' about this life cycle?
  3. Compare the life cycle of crayfish to that of another species that undergoes metamorphosis, for example, an insect. How are they similar? How are they different? Use the 'Comparisons' response template to record facts and add a statement to summarise your comparison.
  4. From what you've learnt about the crayfish life cycle, what human actions might interrupt that cycle? What precautions can humans take to minimise these risks?
  5. Crayfish are a valuable export for New Zealand. How could scientific research about their life cycle contribute to our economy?

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