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Nature's 10 best animal dads

By: Bryan Nelson on June 15, 2011, 1:03 p.m.
close-up of water bug with eggs on back

Photo: Joesboy/iStockphoto

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Giant water bug

Those aren't ordinary lumps on the back of this male water bug — those are his children! Giant water bugs display the most dedicated paternal care in the insect world by carrying the eggs on their wings until they hatch.

You'll want to avoid messing with a water bug father, because he can deliver one of the most painful bites among insects (which explains why this bug is sometimes called a “toe-biter”). For these dads, it's all about protecting themselves and their eggs.