When it comes to parenting◆ in the animal kingdom, we typically see the female as playing the most important role. We focus on maternal◆instinct—the motherly◆urge to protect and nurture offspring◆. Yet, there is also a paternal◆ instinct, and, in some species, it is the male that does most of the work of raising the kids. In this article, we honor a few of the best dads around, some of which may surprise you.
The emperor penguin: Minding the egg
If an award were handed out for the best father on the planet, one of the strongest contenders◆ for that title would be the emperor penguin. Once the female has laid an egg, she is exhausted and must return to the sea to feed. That leaves it entirely up to the male to make sure the egg remains safe and warm during her absence, which may last more than 120 days. This is no easy task. To keep the egg from freezing on the Antarctic◆ ice, a male must balance the egg on top of his feet. Meanwhile, the father uses a warm patch of skin on his belly to provide warmth for the egg. Not only that, but the male must also sleep standing up. Moreover, the male doesn’t eat during the entire time the mother is away.
The Namaqua sandgrouse◆: Traveling for water
While male emperor penguins need to keep eggs safe in temperatures lower than -40ºC and in winds that reach as high as 200 kilometers an hour, the male Namaqua sandgrouse of Africa has an entirely different problem. In the hot, dry desert climate, this bird may need to fly up to 30 kilometers to reach water holes in order to bring water back to its nest. It does this by wading in the pond for 15 minutes so its feathers soak up the water. *Back at the nest, the sandgrouse chicks crowd around the male and drink the water from its feathers.
◆ parenting n. 養育技巧；撫養 ◆ maternal a. 母性的 ◆ motherly a. 母親似的，慈母般的 ◆ offspring n.（動物的）幼獸；子女，後代 ◆ paternal a. 父親（似）的 ◆ contender n. 競爭者，角逐者 ◆ Antarctic n. 南極 Antarctic Circle 南極圈 ◆ sandgrouse n. 沙雞（複數形為 sandgrouse 或 sandgrouses）
1. instinct n. 本能；天性 by instinct 憑本能，生來就 • Beavers build dams by instinct. 河狸憑本能築水壩。 ＊beaver n. 河狸 2. urge n. 強烈的欲望，衝動 have an / the urge to V 想要（做）…… • William had an urge to cry when his teacher scolded him. 威廉在被老師責罵時有股想哭的衝動。 3. nurture vt. 養育，培育 • Most parents try to nurture their children and help them grow into good people. 大部分父母都努力培育小孩，幫助他們長大後成為好人。 4. exhausted a. 疲憊不堪的 • The leaders of the two countries were exhausted after the eight-hour meeting. 開了八小時的會議後，兩國的領導者都疲憊不堪。 5. freeze vi. 結冰，凍結 三態為：freeze, froze, frozen。 • The lake froze during the winter. 那座湖在冬天時結冰了。 6. balance vt. 使平衡，使保持平穩 balance A on B 使 A 穩穩地在 B 上面 • The street performer was able to balance two chairs on his head at the same time. 那個街頭藝人能同時把兩張椅子穩穩地頂在頭上。 7. patch n.（與周圍不同的）塊／片 a patch of... 一塊…… • There is only one small patch of grass in my grandmother’s front yard. 我阿嬤的前院裡只有一小塊草皮。 8. temperature n. 溫度 • Our normal body temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius. 我們正常的體溫為攝氏三十七度左右。 9. wade vi. 涉水，蹚水 • Thelma and Louise waded through the shallow river to their campsite. 席瑪跟露易絲涉水走過那條淺淺的河到達營地。
1. hand out... / hand... out 分發／發放…… • Joseph’s job is to hand out tests to everyone in the classroom. 約瑟夫的工作是把考卷發給班上的每個人。 2. leave sth (up) to... 把某事留給……負責／決定 • Peter left the choice of college entirely to his daughter. 彼得放手讓女兒決定要唸哪一所大學。 3. make sure + (that) 子句 確定／務必（做）…… • Make sure you have the files ready prior to the presentation. 做簡報前務必要把檔案準備好。 4. provide A for B 提供 A 給 B = provide B with A • The landlord provides furniture and air conditioners for his tenants. 那名房東提供傢俱及冷氣機給他的房客使用。 • The building manager can provide you with the number of a good plumber. 大樓管理員可以為你提供一名優秀水電工的電話。 5. soak up... / soak... up 吸收…… • Mandy used a dry mop to soak up the water on the floor. 曼蒂用乾拖把吸地板上的水。 6. crowd around... 聚集在……周圍 • The students crowded around their teacher to watch him do a chemistry experiment. 學生聚集在老師身旁看他做化學實驗。