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See the Tuco-Tucos in California!
February 10, 2011
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Julie says:

Even though we, as humans, are used to the idea of having dads help out with raising the kids, this is not the case for most other mammals. In most mammals, only the mom cares for the young. However, in tuco-tucos, the dad stays and huddles with the pups, keeping them warm. This is true for the wild tuco-tucos, too.

new_litter_of_tuco-tuco_pups
Photo Credit: Julie Woodruff

I video tape the nest boxes and, later, analyze the tapes to see how much time the dad stays with the pups compared to the mom. We watch the videos to see which tuco-tucos are play-fighting with each other and how it changes as they get older.

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This summer, I plan to analyze all these videos. I will also compare tuco-tuco stress hormone levels with some exploratory tests (to see if the pups are bold or “shy”). There is a lot to do, but I am very excited to find out the answers to these questions so that I can better understand the family life of tuco-tucos. I will let you know when I do find out!

STEM Challenge: Tell iTwixie which tuco-tucos you think will have the lowest stress levels. Although we will have to wait to find out the results, everyone who submits an idea, will be in a drawing to win a STEM prize.

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