Father's Day Best to Worst Marine Animals Father’s Competition

Written by: Neira Eclarinal


Who Takes the Trophy? Celebrating the Marvels of Marine Fatherhood This Father’s Day!

Ever wondered how fatherhood fares beneath the waves? With Father’s Day around the corner, we're diving deep into the ocean’s depths to explore the best and worst dads of the marine world. Are you ready to discover which sea creature deserves the “World’s Best Dad” mug and which ones might need a bit of parenting counseling?

The Champions of the Deep: Top Marine Dads

A very tiny seahorse, holding on to the body of its mother with one fin and jumping in front of it over dark water, some small newborn seahorse flying around them

1. Seahorses: The Pregnant Pioneers

Yes, you read that right! In the marine world, male seahorses take fatherhood to another level by actually getting pregnant. After a spectacular courtship dance, the female seahorse deposits her eggs into the male’s pouch, where he fertilizes and carries them until they hatch. Imagine the next time your mom thanks your dad for his 'tremendous pain' during your birth, citing the example of a seahorse dad!

Showcase a father emperor penguin leading his two chicks

2. Emperor Penguins: The Stoic Survivors

If there was a prize for endurance in fatherhood, the male Emperor Penguin would win hands-down. Bracing the brutal Antarctic cold, these feathered fathers fast for months while incubating their eggs. They balance the eggs on their feet, tucked under a warm feathered pouch, all while their partners are off feeding at sea. Now that’s commitment!

giant water bug with eggs on its back

3. Giant Water Bugs: Backpack Dads

Let's jump to an unexpected best dad in the animal kingdom!
Picture this: a dad with eggs stuck on his back—literally. The male giant water bug takes on the responsibility of carrying hundreds of eggs on his back until they hatch. Talk about having your hands (or back) full!

Now, the Not-So-Great Dads…

Illustrate a father sea bass, snapped by Cristina Mittermeier

1. Sea Bass: The Inconsistent Dads

While the male Sea Bass starts strong by fiercely guarding their eggs, their fatherly instincts can take quite the flip. If hunger strikes, they might just snack on their future offspring. Oops—a case of good intentions but bad execution?

a father sand goby

2. Sand Goby: The Opportunist Dad

Here comes the Sand Goby, who might occasionally consume his own eggs. Why? Maybe to get back into the mating game sooner. It seems like this dad’s priorities might be a bit skewed!

Illustrate a crab father with complete set of arms

3. Crab: The Selfish and Happy Go Lucky Dad

Meet Crusty, the underwater curmudgeon with a penchant for grumbling and griping under the sea. As the ocean's worst dad, his scowl stretches wider than his claws' reach. On Father's Day, while other marine dads swim proudly with their offspring, Crusty hoards his shell collection, snapping at any finned youngster who dares approach. He's never remembered for his non-existent nurturing, only for his stingy, shellfish ways and the tidal waves of surliness he exudes. His crabby little ones can only dream of a warm current of fatherly love.

Lessons from the Deep: What Can We Learn?

These varied examples of paternal behavior in the marine world aren't just anomalies of nature but a peek into the survival strategies that different species have developed over millennia. From the mouth-brooding Catfish to the diligent Emperor Penguin, each marine dad teaches us a lesson in sacrifice, resilience, and sometimes, the hard choices of survival.

This Father’s Day, let’s take inspiration from these aquatic patriarchs. Maybe we don’t need our dads to guard eggs on their feet in freezing temperatures or carry us in their mouths, but a little extra appreciation for their everyday sacrifices, the seen and unseen, could be a great way to celebrate their dedicated roles in our lives.

Customizable mugs from Chromatic Safari

Conclusion: Embrace and Appreciate!

This Father’s Day, as we celebrate the wonderful human dads and father figures in our lives, let’s also give a nod to the fascinating fathers of the deep. Whether they are champions of care or have questionable parenting methods, each tells a story of nature’s complex tapestry of life.

Ready to make your dad feel extra special? Why not share these intriguing stories with him? Perhaps, it'll give you both a laugh, or better yet, a deeper appreciation for the diverse tapestry of fatherhood across the species.

Chromatic Safari Father
Image from Chromatic Safari

Take Action: Be Inspired and Act

Feeling inspired by these marine dads? Why not dive into more sustainable practices to protect these incredible creatures and their habitats! Start with something small: avoid single-use plastics to keep our oceans clean. Every little bit helps, and who knows, maybe your actions will protect the next generation of seahorses or emperor penguins! Dive into conservation, and let's keep our marine families thriving. Happy Father’s Day to all dads, on land and at sea!