Peruse this list of awesome animal dads, then call your own dad, if you can and/or want to, and say Happy Father's Day! (Shout out to my own terrific dad — I'm excited to see you next week in Louisiana!).
I think my favorite dad from Smithsonian Magazine's list of sweet animal papas is the giant waterbug, who is ever-so-helpful in giving mom a break from carpool duty!
While male giant waterbugs, also known as alligator ticks and toe biters, may look a little frightening, they are a busy mom's dream because they are on perpetual carpool duty. After the aquatic bugs mate, the female sticks her fertilized eggs onto the male's back. Some male waterbugs shoulder as many as 150 eggs at once.
As he goes about his day-to-day life, the waterbug will sporadically venture to the surface to ensure their eggs don't become waterlogged. They'll also repeatedly squat down to keep the eggs aerated and even use their legs to comb through the eggs to ensure no parasites or fungi have hitched a ride. Just before his growing eggs hatch after several weeks, the male fasts to ensure he does not consume one of his offspring by mistake. Once he drops the kids off in a pond or stream, this dependable dad is ready to mate again so he can care for the next clutch.