Whooping Crane Whooping Crane
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Responses to Challenge Question #9
Hatching Chicks

When will the chicks hatch for these 4 whooping crane pairs?

Pair Began Incubating
213 and 218 April 6
203 and 317 April 7
101 and 202 April 7
211 and 217 April 11

What You Said
Great minds think alike, they say! Students who responded — Marcus (home schooler, Mt. Airy, MD) and Tucker, Phoebe, and Ruby (Ferrisburgh Central School, VT) — all came up with the same hatch dates:

Pair 213 and 218: May 6th
Pair 101 and 202 and pair 203 and 317: May 7th
Pair 211 and 217: May 11th

After learning that it takes about 30 days for whoopers to incubate, they added 30 days to the beginning incubation dates to get their answers.
But Consider This . . .
Those answers make sense, assuming that the eggs don't get stepped on by mom or eaten by predators; these are very real threats! But there's more to consider. Whooper eggs take 29 to 31 days to incubate in captivity. But in the wild (where these eggs are), they take 30 to 35 days to hatch! So you might want to revise your predictions.

  • Why do you think the eggs take longer to hatch in the wild? (Think about differences in indoor and outdoor environments.)


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