We love all the Mamas of the animal kingdom! From big to small to furry to scaly, Moms make the world go ’round. Here are some fun facts about mother and baby animals.
Mama and Baby Sloth: Baby sloths cling to their mother’s fur for five weeks to six months, and then stay close to her side for the next two to four years as they learn to slowly climb through the trees.
Mama and Baby Giraffe: Newborn baby giraffes are six feet tall and weigh 150 pounds. They’re still not tall enough to reach the tree leaves, so the mother giraffe will pluck the leaves and put them directly into the baby’s mouth, until they’re tall enough to do it themselves!
Mama and Baby Tortoise: These African spurred tortoises are only 6 centimeters long when they’re born. They’ll ride on their mother’s head or shell until they’re old enough to walk on their own!
Mama and Baby Panda: Panda babies weigh only 3.5 ounces when they’re born, and are carried by their mothers for their first three months. After that, they’ll gain 100 pounds in their first year!
Mother and Baby Duck: A mother duck will lay up to 15 eggs at a time, and then sit on her eggs for 28 days before they hatch, rarely leaving the nest. Baby ducklings start swimming only 10 hours after they are born!
Mama and Baby Orangutan: Orangutan mothers only give birth every eight years or so. The babies stay with their mother for six to eight years, and have a very tight bond: the closest of all animals, except for humans!
Mama and Baby Cheetah: Baby cheetahs are born blind, but by the time they grow up, they can see up to 3 miles away! Cheetah babies also have a long, tall “mohawk” from their neck all the way down their tail, which helps them blend into the grass and hide from predators.
Mama and Baby Gazelle: The mother gazelle helps its baby stand up on its feet, just moments after it’s born! She will hide her baby in tall grasses while she grazes, and come back to feed it every few hours.
Mama and Baby Hippopotamus: When a mother hippo gives birth, she and her baby will isolate themselves for two weeks so they can bond. She even gives up grazing so she can spend time with her little one! After that, they’ll re-join the herd, but remain closely bonded until the baby is seven.
Mama and Baby Cat: Mother cats have a special noise they use to call to their kittens, called a “chirr” or a “chirrup.” It’s different from all other noises they make, and unique to each mother cat. A mother cat is called a “queen”!
Mama and Baby Horse: Baby horses are born with 80% – 90% of the length of their adult legs, and can start walking within a couple hours of being born. When traveling in a herd, mother horses will put their babies in the center to protect them from danger.
Mama and Baby Alligator: Alligator moms actually bond with their babies and show affection, which is unusual among reptile species! Baby alligators stay close to their mothers for a year, and the mothers will fiercely protect them from predators.
Mama and Baby Chipmunk: These li’l critters weigh only 3 grams when they’re born! They live in an underground burrow for one month, and then their mother helps them venture out and learn how to forage and gather food.