Here are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to life cycles in the Living World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.
Explore the life cycles of birds, butterflies, crabs, eels, ferns, green-lipped mussels, human beings, Inanga (whitebait), insects, moths, plants and more.
Discover more about the life cycles of birds.
Penguin life cycle – Image
Explore the life cycles of native and introduced New Zealand butterflies.
Butterflies – Introductory article with links to media, articles and activities
Monarch butterflies – Article
White butterflies – Article
White butterfly life cycle – Activity
Crab larvae develop in open water, not near the reef where they started their life. Fertilised crab eggs are released into the water and float with the currents while they develop into the larval form. They find their way back to suitable habitats from long distances.
Crabs finding home – Article
Crab life cycle – Image
The life cycle of eels has long been a mystery. The eels breed only once at the end of their life cycle. In the autumn, adult eels leave the rivers and streams and head for the ocean. From there, they make a long journey of thousands of kilometres to a place somewhere in the South Pacific ocean. Scientists think the spawning grounds may be close to Tonga.
Longfin eels – Article
Inanga life cycle - Image
Life cycle of freshwater eels - Image
Ferns are unique amongst land plants in that they have 2 separate living structures in their reproductive cycle.
What is a fern? – Article
Fern life cycle - Interactive
Fern propagation – Activity
Fern reproduction – Video
Find out about the key stages in the development of a human.
Fertilisation to adulthood – Timeline
Whitebait lay their eggs in freshwater, and after hatching, the larvae are swept down to the ocean where they grow. The young then move back up into freshwater in large shoals known as runs.
Whitebait – Article
Inanga and other whitebait – Video
Scale insects are tiny in size but have a significant impact on the forest ecosystem.
Scale insect life cycle – Video
Glow-worms spend most of their lives as larvae – where their famous light is produced most brightly. The other stages are surprisingly short in comparison.
Glow-worms – Article
Find out how to rear moths using basic equipment such as a plastic lunchbox to grow eggs and caterpillars into moths.
Rearing insects – Activity
Rearing moths – Video
Humans have many reasons to grow plants: for food, for building materials or simply for pleasure. A plant really just has one reason to grow – to reproduce to make more plants like it.
Seeds, Stems and Spores – Introductory article with links to media, articles and activities
Plant reproduction – Article
Plant reproduction without seeds – Article
The seed-flower life cycle – Article
Flowering plant life cycles – Article
Pollination pairs – Activity
Trees and natural cycles – Article
During its life cycle, the green-lipped mussel undergoes enormous changes, including fundamental changes in shape. It changes from a free-swimming larval form (which swims in the ocean) to a settled juvenile and adult form (which is anchored to one spot).
Life of a green-lipped mussel - Article