There are some pretty amazing mums in this world, as we all know, but did you know about these amazing mums in the animal kingdom? Their dedication to their young is pretty incredible!
Image via ilovegreenland
Our first amazing mum is the harp seal who nurses her pup on a moving sheet of ice while also keeping an eye out for poachers and polar bears! The harp seal feeds her pup on fat seal milk continuously for 12 days during which time her pup will gain 5lbs a day while she loses 7lbs a day.
The polar bear’s habitat lies in the Arctic Circle where winter temperatures average a freezing -40 degrees Celsius. To escape the cold, the polar bear digs an underground den and remains in hibernation during the coldest months. The mother polar bear gives birth between November and February in her den and stays there while she nurses her litter (which is usually two cubs) on her milk. Once the cubs are big and strong enough they will emerge from the den with their mother and make their way to the sea so the mother can catch seals again. At this point the mother polar bear has been fasting for 8 months.
From Polar Bears in the Arctic Circle to Koala Bears in Australia, it seems there are incredible mums at both ends of the earth! Koala bears give birth to hairless, earless and blind joeys. The joey stays in the mother’s pouch for about 6 months where it slowly grows while feeding solely on the mother koala’s milk. After 6 months the joey crawls out of the pouch and takes up residency on the mother’s back where it remains for a further 6 months.
The African elephant endures the longest pregnancy among mammals of approximately 22 months! The mother then gives birth to the world’s largest baby mammal weighing approximately 250lbs! The African elephant usually gives birth to one calf that then relies on their mother’s milk for 4-6 years. Sadly, despite all of this dedication by their mothers, very few calves live to adulthood.
Emperor penguins are serial monogamists who only mate with one partner. The Emperor penguins mate in March or April when temperatures in the Antarctica are approximately -40 degrees Celsius. Once the female lays her egg she leaves it in the care of her partner while she treks 74 miles back to sea to capture fish for feeding. Once she returns from her journey, she switches roles with her partner and he makes the long journey out to sea and back to catch fish while she minds their egg.
Motherhood is often described as the hardest job in the world and it seems these animal mums have it pretty tough too! Are there any other amazing animal mums out there that we haven’t mentioned?
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