, author: Ermakova M.

Amazing pregnancies in the animal world

The animal world is full of curiosities and mysteries, and pregnancy and childbearing is one of the aspects in which we find the most differences. We will tell you about the most interesting cases.

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If sometimes it seems to us that 9 months is a long time for pregnancy, imagine how some species of animals carry a baby for about two years!

Pet pregnancy

Dogs typically gestate for 9 weeks, and the number of puppies varies depending on the breed. For example, a Chihuahua will most often have an average of two or three cubs, while a Labrador Retriever may have nine or ten cubs.

Cat pregnancy also lasts nine weeks. About two weeks before giving birth, the female begins to prepare for it, and you will notice it. She will “build” a home in a secluded, quiet place where no one will disturb her.

For poultry, gestation period varies greatly depending on the species. The most common birds to keep at home - canaries and parrots - have their own characteristics. In the case of canaries, it is advisable to separate the male and female, as the male may want to copulate endlessly and the situation causes stress for the female, which is not recommended.

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But these are the most common cases with which we are most familiar and accustomed. What happens in the wild? Many cases go beyond the ordinary. Let's talk about the most amazing ones.

Amazing pregnancies in the animal world

1. Seahorse.

The case of the hippocampus or seahorse is one of the most curious in the animal kingdom, since pregnancy occurs in the male and not in the female. The female lays eggs in a pouch, which the male holds on the front of his tail, and “hatches” them for about two months.

2. Guinea pig.

The peculiarity of pregnancy in guinea pigs is that they can become pregnant from a very early age - after just two months of life! They are also very fertile and get pregnant easily.

3. Dolphin.

Dolphin pregnancy lasts from 10 to 15 months, but what is most curious is that the females are “cared for” by other dolphins, especially other females, who act almost like midwives and who additionally protect the female and calf from possible predators.

4. Chimpanzee.

The most interesting thing about chimpanzees is how similar they are to us humans. The female usually has one or at most two cubs (the likelihood of chimpanzees having twins is quite high) and they become independent at the age of six months, while remaining attached to their mother, even helping to care for their younger siblings.

5. Elephant.

This is an animal with one of the longest gestation periods in the animal kingdom: up to two years! Females can bear a child from the age of 14, and the cubs are completely dependent at birth, since they are born blind.

Neapolitan Mastiff.

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6. Neapolitan Mastiff.

The Neapolitan Mastiff is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest litter: one dog of this breed gave birth to 24 puppies at once in 2004. Without going to this extreme, it should be noted that Neapolitan Mastiffs usually always have very numerous litters.

7. Humpback whale.

Typically, whales have a gestation period of one year, one of the longest in the animal kingdom, after the gestation period of elephants. Humpback whales in particular have a sort of “love dance” in which they move around in search of warm waters where they can mate and bear their young.

8. Killer whale.

Like other whales, they are polygamous, so during estrus they can mate with several males. What is curious is the length of the gestation period, which ranges from 15 to 18 months.

9. Nandu.

Males build a nest, and females lay eggs in it. Then the male incubates them, and also takes care of protection after birth from various threats.

White bears.

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10. Polar bear.

What's amazing about polar bear pregnancy is that the female chooses the moment when she wants to be fertilized, as she stores sperm, sometimes for months. She usually chooses the time when she will accumulate the maximum amount of fat. Another interesting fact is that if females are stressed, they do not engage in reproduction.

11. Octopus.

The life cycle of octopuses is one of the fastest in the animal kingdom, as they are estimated to grow 5% every day to ensure the survival of the species. As for pregnancy, the most unusual thing is that from the moment the eggs are laid until they hatch, up to ten months can pass, during which the female is exposed to danger from predators, even going so far as to eat her own tentacles so as not to leave the eggs.

12. Shark.

The longest gestation period in the animal kingdom among vertebrates is that of the frilled shark (which is similar in appearance to a snake or eel), as it can reach 36 to 42 months of gestation. Depending on the species, sharks have three methods of reproduction: giving birth (and the young immediately survive on their own), laying eggs in a secluded area, or laying eggs that remain inside the female until hatching.

Giraffe family.

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13. Giraffe.

The giraffe's gestation period lasts from 13 to 15 months, which is slightly longer than normal. It is curious that during childbirth the female giraffe stands on her feet, so the calf falls from a very impressive height.

14. Possum.

It is the animal with the shortest gestation period in the world, lasting only 12 or 13 days. However, the young are born incompletely formed and must then remain inside the pouch until fully developed.

15. Alpine black salamander.

Her pregnancy lasts just over three years, which is a significant amount of time. Additionally, they only give birth to one or two young.