Mar 31

Spring has definitely sprung here in the northern hemisphere, and what better way to celebrate than with a bit of spring-themed wildlife linkage. First, let me start by saying a big congrats to Mitchell for his brilliant Madagascan solution to my last challenge – you really nailed those sifakas!

Spring in your step?

Tender new shoots are starting to poke their heads out, wobbly little lambs are beginning to take their first steps and frogs are busy making frogspawn. If you’re as pleased to say goodbye to winter as I am, then this springtime game is definitely for you.  For this challenge I want you to finish at frogspawn, but where do I want you to start? I think with the aptly named springbok! Here’s my attempt at a six-step spring-themed chain…

Springbok

Photo of a springbok pronking

I know they’re not the quintessential springtime species, but surely you can’t get better than a springing springbok? Another even-toed ungulate (member of the order Artiodactyla) is the red deer. Famous for their rutting and roaring behaviour, red deer have their calves from spring to early summer.

Red deer

Photo of a red deer calf

Whilst red deer might be good at roaring, the blackbird is another pretty vocal species. For many people, the blackbird’s beautiful mellow song is a sure sign that spring is on its way.

Blackbird

Photo of a blackbird singing

Blackbirds might be the animal harbinger of spring, but snowdrops are definitely the floral harbingers!

Snowdrop

Photo of snowdrops

Snowdrops are pollinated by bees. Now I know what you’re thinking, bees are not exactly a species you would immediately associate with spring, but bear with me…..

Honey bee

Photo of honey bee comb with honey storage cells

….honey bees produce honey (of course) and honey is very very sweet. Do you know what else is sweet? Ducklings, which are definitely associated with spring.

Mallard duckling

Photo of a mallard duckling

A cute little duckling such as this is very likely to be found swimming around in a pond and is also very likely to bump into lots and lots of……..frogspawn!

Frogspawn

Frogspawn

I hope you all feel fully prepared for spring now. Warmer weather, longer days and plenty of baby animals – what’s not to like?

Why not spring into action and see if you can get from the springbok to frogspawn in six sunny steps? Post your chains as comments on this blog and then watch this space for a winner to be announced!

Bonnie Metherell, ARKive Media Researcher

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