What child doesn’t love watching fish? When my daughters were little, every aquarium in a store or restaurant would attract their fascination, faces pressed to the glass, peering at the colorful display inside.
Your child can learn about fish through this delightfully illustrated, educational short video available on TedEd called “The Secret Lives of Baby Fish” by Amy McDermott. It gives students (from mid-elementary and higher) a sense of the amazing journey that billions of baby fish take. It follows tiny yellow tang surgeonfish as they drift thousands of miles, searching for the coral reef they will call home.
There are at least 27,000 fish species. One quarter of them live in coral reefs, which is less than one percent of the earth’s surface. It was once thought that baby fish from coral reefs just drifted aimlessly until they landed in some other random reef. But recent research has shown that these tiny fish navigate by sound and smell, riding currents to find just the right coral reefs to call home.
Some drift thousands of miles and take up residence far from where they were born. Others use currents to drift back to reefs where they started. But there is much left we don’t know. Maybe your student will grow up to be a scientist who studies and solves more mysteries about these baby fish!
To explore further and see the full lesson, with interesting questions, links to more information, and other related lessons, visit this TED Education page.