ANIMAL DADS TAKE OVER by Jonathan & Sharon Sigmund Shebar Shebar


Email this review


Examples from animal species, offered presumably as antidotes to the claim that it's ""natural"" for mothers to do all the parenting. Acknowledging that ""among animals and birds it is mostly the mothers who feed and care for the children,"" the Shebars feature here a few species in which the fathers take over the job. The male Darwin's frog fertilizes the female's eggs as she lays them, then carries the hatching tadpoles in his vocal sac until they are ready for independence. The female sea horse deposits her eggs in the male's pouch and he carries and gives birth to the young. The rhea father hatches the eggs females lay in his nest and rears the chicks when they hatch. The marmoset male shares child care with the female, carrying the babies around between nursings and then helping them find food. And the Adelie penguin father alternates brooding shifts with the mother. Although the same examples have been cited in various contexts, this particular combination has validity and the Shebars describe the different processes satisfactorily. Their opening and closing statements about humans make one important point--""All animal fathers in the same species behave in the same way. . . but all human fathers are not alike""--but otherwise overgeneralize, using the word ""human"" when they mean contemporary middle-class American. For the animal examples, usable.

Pub Date: March 16th, 1981
Publisher: Messner