Artemia franciscana

Sexual selection in brine shrimps

Practical investigations using Artemia franciscana


Students investigate mate selection on brine shrimps (Artemia franciscana), by one of two methods.

Educational objectives
Students will carry out and interpret data from a practical investigation. The data collected can be analysed graphically and by using a spreadsheet. Students will learn about the anatomy and behaviour or brine shrimps and about sexual selection.

Pre-knowledge and skills required by students
A basic knowledge of the principle of evolution by natural selection would be useful, as a foundation for learning about sexual selection.

Time taken in lesson
50 minutes x 3

Preparation time
The brine shrimps must be grown from cysts at least five weeks before the investigation can be done.

Specialist equipment and materials required
Brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) cysts
Halophytic algae e.g., Dunaliella salina
Sea salt
5 mL plastic pipettes ('Pastettes')

Context where originally used
This protocol was devised for use in UK schools with 14-16 year-old students.

Additional information
This protocol was originally devised for the Wellcome Trust's 'Survival Rivals' project. 'Survival Rivals' is the Wellcome Trust's Darwin 200 offering for secondary schools in the UK ( The Wellcome Trust is an independent charity that funds research to improve human and animal health (Registered charity No 210183).

Stephen P. Tomkins and Leighton Dann for the Wellcome Trust. [Edited by Dean Madden.]

CONTACT address
Please contact the authors through Dean Madden at:
University of Reading
2 Earley Gate

Copyright HOLDER(s)
Text copyright © The Wellcome Trust, 2009

This protocol is covered by a Creative Commons 'attributed, non-commercial, share alike' licence. This means that you may use it, adapt it, translate it and so on. You may not use it for commercial purposes however, and you must mention the source of the original work (The Wellcome Trust). Any derivative works must be distributed on the same terms.




Sexual selection
1.3 Mb


Life cycle diagram
240 kb


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