Pregnancy and parenting aren’t, of course, singular to humans….the animal world also exists thanks to the process of fertilisation, labour and delivery. Here are 20 facts you may not know about what happens in pregnancy for our little furry…and no so furry friends!
Think nine months is long for a pregnancy? Spare a though for elephants whose pregnancies last a whopping 730 days!
Female ducks have vaginas shaped like corkscrews – which is fortunate for them – as male ducks’ penises are also shaped like corkscrews!
Guinea pigs become sexually active around when they’re around four weeks old! Even after they’ve given birth, they’re ready to go again within two and fifteen hours! Steady on girls!
Female kangaroos have three vaginas leading to two uteri. The two outer vaginas are used for sexual intercourse and collecting sperm, while the third is kept exclusively for giving birth. Result? Kangaroos can be pregnant all year round without taking a break!
Think you’ve put on too much weight during pregnancy? Have a thought for female polar bears, which put on an average 400 pounds while pregnant!
Female aphids are actually born pregnant!
Spiders can choose a sperm for fertilisation. When a female spider mates, the semen doesn’t get into the uterus, but is stored instead in a sac-like structure. This allows the female spider to mate with loads of males before she chooses the one that she wants and simply dumps the rest of the sperm out.
Poor mother octopi die after giving birth to their babies. While pregnant, they don’t move or eat and simply guard their eggs.
Male seahorses win the prize for the most active dads; even acting as an egg incubator! Female seahorses lay their unfertilised eggs into a pouch on the male’s belly. He then fertilises the eggs and protects them for several weeks before giving birth to between five and 1500 hatchlings! At that point, however, dad’s job is done, since seahorses don’t nurture their young – so off he goes!
Giraffes actually stand up to give birth so when baby comes out of the womb it falls a whopping five to seven feet to the ground. Although it sounds a bit risky, most do actually manage to fall safely.
Black lace-weaver spiderlings don’t wait for mummy to start feeding them after birth! No! As soon as they’re born, they band together and eat their mum while she’s still alive. Kids…you can’t take them anywhere…
There’s a type of frog that swallows its fertilised eggs and then, when they’re ready to hatch, she just vomits them up and out they come from the vomit…
Orang-utans love their kids, opting to breastfeed them for between six and seven years!
When a lioness gives birth, all of the females in the pride breastfeed it!
Suriname toads are another breed that takes labour pain into another realm! During the twelve-hour mating process, the male fertilises the eggs in holes on the female’s back. The skin grows over them and after the four-month gestation period, when it’s time for the baby toads to come out, they simply tear mum’s skin apart….