About the experiment

What do brine shrimp look for in a mate? Find out in this experiment aimed at 14 to 16 year olds.

Before getting going, why not take a look at the online resources:

  • a short video with helpful advice for running your experiment
  • the Brine Date game - can you help a lonely brine shrimp find true love?
  • downloadable resources, including the kit notes for teachers, students and technicians
Brine shrimp

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About This Experiment

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Many students will have heard of brine shrimp, some may even have grown them at home. In Brine Date, they'll study brine shrimps in more detail, looking at their mating habits.

In the classroom, the preamble to this investigation is biological observation (as Darwin the naturalist would have made) of the mating pairs. Then, through a teacher-led discussion, students can suggest ways of investigating the phenomenon of mate-guarding. This discussion will generate hypotheses - for example, larger males may pair with larger females. The experiment will then encourage them to test their hypotheses.

What's in the kit?

The Brine Date kit contains everything you need to carry out the experiment in school, including:

  • Artemia (brine shrimp) cysts
  • Artemia algal food culture
  • teacher and technician notes
  • a book – 99% Ape: How Evolution Adds Up, by Jonathan Silvertown

How long will it take?

Brine shrimps will become sexually mature two to three weeks after hatching. The process of observation, experiment design and testing is flexible – it could be carried out in a couple of lessons, or over several days.

How do I order?

Whole kits and replacement algae can be purchased from here.

Even without a kit you can still carry out Survival Rivals experiments - see the not got a kit page for more information.