If there’s anything mothers like to talk about, it’s their pregnancies and their kids. 40 weeks of being pregnant is not as fun as people make it out to be, at least in my experience! But the miracle of life is, nonetheless, pretty miraculous. And that’s regardless of how miserable it can make us.
But considering we’ve dwelled enough on our human pregnancies, maybe it’s time to be in awe of the female powerhouses that exist in the wonderful world of animals. These animal moms have pregnancies that range from two weeks (amazing!) to two years (can you imagine!?). From goats to prairie dogs to lionesses and jaguars, these mothers are all amazing for doing in nature (and with no epidural). All the power to them.
Jaguars are Pregnant for Three and A Half Months
This jaguar mom is in full protective mode, staring down at anyone or anything that could be a potential threat to her and her developing cubs. Amazingly, jaguars carry for three and a half months to full term.
Female jaguars actually reach maturity at two years of age. When they’re fertile, they let males know by leaving scent marks and certain noises. Their gestation period also lasts about 105 days. They can give birth to up to four cubs at once, but the average female jaguar will deliver two. And the mothers raise the cubs on their own.
Lionesses Can Deliver Up To Four Cubs At Once
This pregnant lioness is walking with a female companion. They’re likely searching for a place to nest as she is about to give birth after 110 days of carrying. Pregnant lions deliver and raise their cubs in a secluded den, in a grove or a cave, far from the rest of the pride.
Similar to jaguars, lionesses raise their cubs on their own and actually don’t tolerate any male presence due to infanticide. And after the cubs are born, she moves them one-by-one to a new den several times a month to avoid possible predators.
See what prairie dogs do to get pregnant! Next…
Prairie Dogs Have a Mating Call
On average, prairie dogs carry their litter for a month (wouldn’t that be nice!), depending on the breed. Despite having the word dog in their name, these rodents aren’t actually in the canine family. Yet, interestingly, their mating call consists of barking twice to 25 times at three- to 15-second intervals.
Mother prairie dogs nurse their young in an underground nursery chamber for about six weeks. They also have to defend the nursery and gather grass for the nest. It has been noted that young prairie dogs will sleep in the nest with other mothers, but some say they will be killed to protect the territory.
Monk Seals Are Pregnant for Almost a Year
This is a monk seal that looks just about as fed up as any pregnant woman who goes past her due date (I can attest to that!). The gestation period for monk seals is around 11 long months. These seals are polygynous, meaning that one male will mate with a group of females in order to protect his territory and assert his dominance.
Many seal species happen to breed on land and return to the same breeding sites every year for that purpose only. These sea animals actually don’t even touch the water as pups until they’re two weeks old. And when they’re about 19 weeks of age, they’re fully weaned and independent.
Do you know how long guinea pigs carry for? See next…
Guinea Pigs Carry for Two Months
Believe it or not, female guinea pigs become fertile as young as four weeks old. That means they can carry litters before they even become adults. The gestation lasts from 59 to 72 days. As you can see from the photo, pregnant guinea pigs can get pretty large and eggplant-shaped. It’s because their pups are large too.
On average, a litter has three pups, and they can have as many as five litters per year. The pups are also able to move on their own, with well-developed hair, teeth, and claws. The only thing is that they’re partially blind at birth.
The next animal can have triplet births…
Goats Have Triplet Births
This pregnant goat looks just about as fed up as the monk seal was. Gestation for goats is about 150 days, and they usually give birth to twins. But goats can also have triplets as well as single births.
You’ll know when a goat is ready to deliver by seeing if the area around her tail and the hip become sunken. She’ll probably also start breathing heavily, look worried, and be restless. After the birth, the goat will eat her own placenta, providing needed nutrients.
Do you know which species involves the male getting pregnant? See next…
Male Seahorses Do All the Work
Luckily for the female seahorses, it’s the males that deal with pregnancy. Male seahorses have this pouch on the front side of their tails that fills up with up to 1,500 eggs placed by a female seahorse.
But before that happens, the seahorses spend time courting each other which synchronizes their reproductive states. The male seahorse carries the babies from nine to 45 days until the babies are fully developed. A male seahorse can release as many as 1,000 seahorse babies.
Cows are Pregnant for as Long as Humans Are
The gestation period for a cow typically lasts as long as a human’s at about nine months. The precise length of the pregnancy, interestingly though, depends on the breed of the cow and the gender of the calf that she’s carrying.
Unfortunately, many calves are taken from their mothers within the first 24 hours of birth and aren’t nurtured by their own mother’s milk. That milk is harvested for human consumption instead. This primarily applies to those cows on dairy farms. Studies have shown that calves that get to be raised by their mothers tend to be more sociable as adults.
The next animal also has a long pregnancy at 11 months…
Ponies Can Have Complications During Pregnancy
This pregnant pony is carrying a hefty load for being a small horse. All horse breeds, including ponies, typically carry their foals for a gestation period of around 11 months. For a pony or miniature horse, gestation lasts about 330 days.
Sadly, miniature horses are more susceptible to having miscarriages or may experience difficulties during delivery. But when a pony or miniature horse successfully gives birth, the foal is weaned from their mother between four to six months.
Zebra Moms Spend a Year Being Pregnant
This zebra mare looks like she’s pretty late in her pregnancy. But although they come from the same genus as horses, zebras will carry for a little over a year! Amazingly, zebra foals are capable of standing and walking almost immediately after being born.
Baby zebras are brown and white at birth (the brown turns to black later on). Mare zebras give birth to one foal at a time. They also stay with their babies for up to a year, protecting them from predators.
In contrast, see how short a squirrel’s gestation period is…
Squirrels Have Only A Few Weeks
This squirrel needs to gather enough food to keep her well-nourished for motherhood. A squirrel’s preparation time is short since her gestation period is three to six weeks long.
They give birth to babies that are naked, toothless, and blind. And the mothers tend to their babies entirely by themselves. After six to ten weeks, their infants are weaned, but it takes an entire year to venture out on their own. And then they can start making their own babies.
Cats Can Get Pregnant Up To Three Times a Year
This cat can probably relate to those who say they’re “tired of being pregnant.” Cats must be just used to being pregnant, considering they can have up to six kittens in one litter. Not to mention they can give birth up to three times a year.
Cats are pregnant for a little over two months. Their first litters are typically smaller than the later litters. Six to seven weeks after the kittens are born, they’re weaned from their mothers but aren’t fully prepared to leave them until they’re 12 weeks old.
See which animal is similar to humans in how attached they are to their babies…
Macaques Get Really Attached To Their Offspring
This toque macaque is a monkey in Sri Lanka, and she’s getting close to the day, tenderly cradling her baby bump. This species of macaque carried for around five to six months before giving birth to a single baby.
Her offspring will physically hold on to her for about two months after it’s born. It’s the period when the baby is taught the necessary survival and social skills. Also, the infant macaques’ social status is determined by the mother’s position in the group.
Sheep Are in Labor for Up To Three Hours
Sheep are herd animals, and a group of ewes (female sheep) will mate with a single ram (male sheep). Ewes can start reproducing when they’re only six to eight months old. They indicate that they’re ready to nearby rams by releasing a scent during their estrus cycle.
After a gestation of about five months, ewes tend to be in labor for up to three hours. Most will typically have single or twin lambs, but there have been large litters. Lambs can stand within an hour of being born and start nursing.
Can you imagine giving birth while standing up? The next animal does…
Giraffes Stand Up During Labor
This giraffe in the East African safari was all alone because she was pregnant and in labor. Her bulging belly was only moments away from unleashing a calf. And their length of pregnancy is just too long!
Giraffes have a gestation period from 400 to 460 days, and they give birth to one calf at the end. Giraffes are in labor while standing up, and when the calf falls out, she grooms it and helps it stand on its own legs. Amazingly, it’s able to run around within a few hours!
Opossums Are Pregnant for Only Two Weeks
This opossum is looking for a safe place to deliver the siblings of the little one on her back. Because they’re marsupials, the joeys (baby opossums) typically spend time in the mother’s pouch, but they hang onto her back when being traveling somewhere safe.
Opossum joeys are born at an early stage because the gestation period is only a mere 12 to 14 days! After being born, joeys have to find their way to their mother’s pouch in order to nurse. Opossums tend to have large litters, but many don’t survive if they fail to attach to their mother’s teat.
Next, see what pigs do when they need to give birth…
Pigs Need a Special Place for Their Piglets
A sow (female pig) will carry for three to four months before giving birth to a litter of piglets. Wild hogs and domesticated pigs need to give birth in a dry and warm place. Domesticated pigs will have birthing pens that are clean and filled with straw.
When the sow is ready to deliver, she will go to her pen and lie on her side. Piglets are actually born feet first and will come out in their own sacs. The birthing pen is so important because piglets have trouble staying warm on their own.
Elephants Carry for Two Years
This pregnant elephant is about to give birth, seeing as how wide she’s gotten. Elephants usually have a gestation period of two long years, bearing only one calf, though they sometimes have twins.
Since the calves spend so much time in utero, they usually stand and walk from the second they’re born. Elephants have a beautiful welcoming. When a newborn arrives, the adults and young elephants in the herd gather around and caress it with their trunks. Then it takes about a year for an elephant calf to fully develop.
Next, our dear furry friends have their own way of giving birth…
Dogs Are Pregnant for Up to Three Months
Dogs will be pregnant for two to three months, depending on when they got pregnant. Many people say that a dog will give birth to half as many puppies as the number of teats she has. But the litter size actually depends on the size and age of the dog.
The average litter will have five to six puppies. If the mother dog has ten teats, it doesn’t necessarily mean she can provide enough nourishment for ten puppies at once.
Ferrets Pull Their Hair Out to Build a Nest
Female ferrets don’t have to wait that long since the gestation only lasts around six weeks. When a jill (a female ferret) is preparing to give birth, she will pull out her own fur in order to build a nest.
When a jill is finally in labor, she needs to be left alone. Experts say that if a ferret is bothered while in labor, the agitation can lead her to kill and eat her own kits.
See how large the next pregnant tiger got!
Tigers Carry for Three and a Half Months
A tiger’s gestational period lasts for three and a half months. She then has a litter of three or four tiger cubs. There have been litters of up to seven cubs, though, but it’s rare for all the cubs to survive in those cases.
Newborn cubs weigh between 1.75 and 3.5 pounds. They’re born completely blind, so they rely on their mother to care for them and show them around.
Different Otters Have Different Gestation Periods
There are different kinds of otters, and they all have different gestation lengths. The clawless and the river types have a gestation period of two months. The giant otter’s gestation period is longer, averaging at about 65 to 70 days. Sea otters carry their offspring the longest at four and nine months, with the average length being six months.
Otters tend to give birth in different places too. Freshwater otters will give birth in dens, on dry land, and then sea otters give birth in the water. This particular mother otter is about to give birth outside the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Ever seen a pregnant koala? Now you will…
Koalas Carry for a Month
The koalas’ breeding season lasts from August to February. Pregnant koalas carry for only 35 days, and they typically produce five or six offspring over the course of their entire life.
After the birth, the little joey climbs into its mother’s pouch all by itself. It’s not an easy endeavor, though, as joeys are born blind and have to rely on their other senses to reach mom’s pouch. After 22 weeks in the pouch, their eyes begin to open, and they soon emerge venture out into the world.
Panda Pregnancy is Tricky
This is Caocao, a Giant Panda at the Chinese research and conservation center. She eventually gave birth to a male offspring. Panda reproduction is quite complicated, though. Females ovulate only once a year and can only conceive for two to three days during a short period.
Since pandas are naturally solitary animals, the odds of a fertile female finding a mate in that brief window are low. The pandas that are held in captivity are helped out with artificial insemination.
Do you know how many babies mice have in a year?
Mice Give Birth to How Many at Once?
Mice are amazing when you think about their breeding abilities. Just one female mouse can produce 25 to 60 offspring in a year! And once pregnant, a mouse only has to carry for nine to 21 days before she gives birth.
A litter of mice usually has five or six mouse pups, but it’s not unusual to see a litter of 12. And mice can mate as soon as they’re born, which means that a female can birth a second litter only 25 days after the first. That’s a lot of mice.
Pregnant Rhinos Carry for 16 Months
In September of 2018, the Buffalo Zoo announced: “We have a very exciting announcement to make this morning! Just in time for #WorldRhinoDay on Saturday, we would like to announce that Tashi, our greater one-horned rhino is pregnant!” Tashi was artificially inseminated.
The news was especially exciting because rhinos are critically endangered right now. Rhinoceros pregnancies last about 15 to 16 months and the calves weigh between 55 and 100 pounds at birth. Rhinos will usually have one baby at a time, but twins do happen.
Next – preggers with twins!
This Alpaca Is Pregnant With Twins!
Alpacas are a South American mammal, and they’re similar to llamas, only alpacas tend to be smaller. Their hair is similar to sheep’s wool and is also used to make woven and knitted things.
The gestation period for an alpaca is about 335 to 365 days. They tend to give birth in the morning and on sunny days, with some exceptions of course. A baby is called a cria, and it usually weighs between 15 and 19 pounds at birth.
Dolphins Deliver After a Year
Dolphins actually don’t have a mating season as others do. And births happen throughout the year. Females will usually ovulate between two to seven times a year. When they become pregnant, they carry for nearly a full year.
The female doesn’t have a lot of room in her uterus for her large baby to grow, so she’ll usually gain more girth in her whole body rather than just a tummy bulge like many species. Babies are also born tail first.
When it comes to donkeys, it’s not so obvious…
Donkeys are Deceivingly Pregnant
It’s not so easy to tell if a female donkey (a jenny) is expecting during her early stages, and she’ll stay pregnant for 10 to 14 months before giving birth to her foal. Eleven months is the most common. Only one foal is born each time.
Did you know that donkey milk has more protein and sugar than cow’s milk? It’s often given to sick children, premature babies, and people with tuberculosis. You learn something new every day, right?
Manatees, also called sea cows, are actually more closely related to elephants! When mating, the female manatee will be pursued by up to a dozen males, and this is called a mating herd. Once she gets pregnant, the male has nothing to do with rearing the calf.
Manatees have a similar gestation period to dolphins, at about 12 months. The calves are born underwater and are usually between 4 and 4.5 feet long, weighing between 60 to 70 pounds.
Did you know that cats get morning sickness?
Pregnant Cats are More Similar to Us Than We Think
Did you know that cats experience a sick feeling that is comparable to humans’ morning sickness? Some will refuse to eat and even regurgitate their food.
Anyone who’s been through morning sickness knows how yucky it can feel during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when all you want to do is avoid food altogether.
Killer Whales Have Long Gestation Times
A killer whale’s gestation period can last from 15.7 to 18 months. Females will usually give birth every three to five years, but sometimes they’ll even go up to 10 years between babies. And one calf is born each time.
Calves are born underwater and come out tail-first, although head-first deliveries have been witnessed. Calves then nurse for a year or two after birth (quite similar to humans!). Interestingly, they prefer to nurse right below water, close to the surface.
See when hedgehogs give birth, next…
Hedgehogs Give Birth at Night
Pregnant hedgehogs usually deliver three to five babies in each litter, but litter sizes can range from one to seven babies. And they tend to give birth at night or very in the early morning.
Here’s a fun fact: baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. The tiny creatures are born blind and have tiny quills under the skin that emerge after being cleaned. They eventually shed their baby quills and grow adult spikes.
Orangutans Carry for 9 Months
Here’s a sight you don’t see every day. This pregnant orangutan is full term and about to pop! And orangutans are striking similar to humans in their pregnancies.
They have gestation periods of around nine months, but it’s usually closer to eight and a half months. It’s actually rare for an orangutan to give birth to more than one baby, but twins have been seen. Infants are born really tiny – small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.
You’ll be amazed by how caring and sharing meerkats are!
Meerkat Pregnancies Last Weeks
A meerkat pregnancy doesn’t last long, at about 11 weeks. Each litter has three to four babies, and they’re born underground or in grass-lined chambers. Baby meerkats have different names; they’re called kittens, kits, pups, puppies, or cubs.
Meerkats are social creatures, and it’s seen especially when raising their young. The whole community pitches in to care for the babies. When a mother forages for food, she leaves her young with other members of the community. And amazingly, these female babysitters will even nurse each other’s babies!
Yes, Bats Get Pregnant Too
Bats might not be your favorite animal, but the small critters have pregnancies too! Bat mating occurs in the late summer and early autumn. A pregnant female carries anywhere from 40 days to six months, depending on the bat species.
A bat gives birth to one baby, called a pup that will typically weigh about 25% as much as the mother does. And bat pups nurse just like other animals.
This Cat is Not a Happy Camper
Have you ever seen a pregnant sphynx? Well, now you have. There are actually a bunch of hairless cats, including Donskoy, Peterbald, Minskin, Elf Cat, as well as the Sphynx. Their pregnancies and birthing processes are similar to their furrier cat friends.
But due to their lack of fur, it’s possible to see the kittens moving inside a hairless cat’s pregnant belly. Talk about strange!
A Fully Pregnant Guinea Pig
We’ve seen one pregnant guinea pig, but this one was too good not to include in this list. This spotted guinea pig is so big she was likely about to go into labor.
While guinea pigs usually carry three babies, this one likely had more than that. What’s interesting is that their length of gestation decreases with litter size.
Next, see what a pregnant fish looks like!
A Pregnant Guppy
Fish can reproduce in a number of ways. Pregnancy in fish refers to the time when developing embryos are incubated in the mother’s body after fertilization.
This photo shows what a pregnant guppy looks like. They’re a tropical fish called ‘livebearers,’ and that’s due to the fact that they give birth to live babies instead of laying eggs the way other fish do.
A Pig’s Baby Shower
A rescued pig named Sophie was given a type of baby shower to celebrate her upcoming motherhood. The story ended up going viral. Sophie was abandoned at a farm in Indiana without food or water.
She was rescued and brought to Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary in Ohio. The staff learned that Sophie was pregnant and they decided to throw her a baby shower.
Guinea Pig Mamas
That pet you may have had in your classroom when you were a kid is quite a champion at breeding. This guinea pig looks like she literally ate a watermelon! Female Guinea pigs (sows) are capable of getting pregnant as early as 4 weeks of age.
Most sows go into heat between two to 15 hours after giving birth to a litter. Their gestation period is around 59 to 73 days, and their litters range in size from 1 to 8 pups. Amazingly, they can give birth to multiple litters every year – up to 5.
Octopi don’t technically get pregnant as they lay eggs instead. But their reproduction is interesting enough add them to this list. What happens is male octopi insert packets of sperm into females with special arms called hectocotyli.
The female stores the sperm until she’s ready to fertilize her average of 200,000 eggs! At that point, she lays and hangs around her den or attaches to the seafloor. She then has to guard her eggs obsessively, airing them by fanning water over them. Strange, huh?
Nine-banded armadillos have the ability to put their pregnancies on hold. Like some other types of mammals, like bears and badgers, armadillos practice delayed implantation. Amazingly, they can hold an embryo in a dormant state until conditions are fit for the pregnancy.
Armadillos gestate their embryos (which are typically four identical quadruplets) for around four months. But due to the delayed implantation, babies are usually born about 8 months after mating.
The Birth of a Chimpanzee
Did you know that chimps are human’s closest relatives? Knowing that it’s really no surprise that they give birth in a way that’s similar to us. According to a 2011 study, they saw that baby chimps emerge from the birth canal facing away from their mother.
But with most primates, babies are born facing the mother, so she is able to pick them up quickly. Anthropologists suspect that the human tendency of babies to be born facing away from the mother led to the need for help during childbirth. But chimpanzee childbirth suggests that isn’t necessarily true.
This cute little raccoon looks like it’s fattening up for winter, but the truth is she’s actually preggers. Raccoons generally mate in the late winter or early spring season and their gestation period is about 63 days. They produce litters of 1 to 8 offspring.
Baby raccoons (called kits) will stay with the mother in her den from 8 to 12 weeks before they start to venture out alongside the mother. The mother and her kits will stay together until they’re grown and independent.
This amazing image is an x-ray of a female turtle before she laid her eggs. Turtles come to the shore to lay their eggs in a nest on a beach a few weeks after mating. Most species of turtles choose to nest during the warmest months of the year.
The turtle lays around 50 to 200 eggs in her nest and covers it with sand to keep the eggs moist, maintain the cool temperature, and to protect from predators. Most female turtles make a habit of returning to the exact same beach to nest every year.
When Sloths Get Pregnant
Did you know that the sloth is the slowest moving mammal on the planet? Now add that she’s pregnant and you can only imagine the speed. Female sloths give birth to one baby at a time and stay with the offspring for about five months after giving birth. The gestation period is six months.
Due to the anatomy of the sloth, she can spend up to 90% of her life hanging upside down. Their internal organs are literally attached to their rib cage, so hanging upside-down doesn’t put any pressure on their lungs.
It’s not hard to see that this groundhog is clearly pregnant. The groundhog mating season begins after their annual hibernation from early March to late April. The gestation period lasts 31 to 32 days, and they give birth to litters of 2 to 6 newborns at a time.
Groundhogs are very closely related to squirrels and are often referred to as ‘ground-squirrels.’ They build complex homes by burrowing in the ground and creating tunnels. Apparently, they even have dedicated rooms for going to the bathroom! Newborn groundhogs stay with the mother for at least two months.
All in the Goldfish Family
Goldfish are another animal species that don’t technically get pregnant but looking at this rather round one; you would definitely think that they do. This goldfish is actually just full of eggs and ready to lay and fertilize them. When water temperatures rise, female goldfish release hundreds and sometimes thousands of eggs.
Like most fish, goldfish do not take care of their young. Adult goldfish will even eat the young when possible! Newly hatched goldfish are called ‘fry,’ and they survive on eating brine shrimp and daphnia.
Rabbits seem to live up to their reputation of mating quite fervently and reproducing frequently, with a shockingly short gestation period of only 30 days. Rabbits can give birth to a litter of 4 to 12 kits at a time.
The rabbit breeding season is about 9 months of the year, and female rabbits are able to get pregnant almost immediately after giving birth. So, theoretically, rabbits can give birth to 100 babies per season, and over a 1,000 babies in a lifetime!
A Frog Full of Eggs
This cute little thing isn’t a plastic toy. It’s actually a genetically modified transparent frog! Frogs can’t technically get pregnant, laying eggs instead. And this frog is definitely ready to lay her eggs for fertilization. This is the world’s first transparent four-legged animal. Pretty neat, huh?
This frog was successfully genetically modified back in 2007 for scientific purposes. Since she’s transparent, scientists are able to study how its organs develop and how cancer develops without having to dissect.
The average lifespan of a brown rat is very short – at only one year. But they happen to compensate for that short life with a startlingly massive amount of reproduction. A rat’s gestation period is just 21 to 23 days long.
Each litter can have 5 to 10 baby rats. Whether you want to hear it or not, a pair of rats can produce as many as 1,250 offspring in a given year! No wonder New York City has more rats than it does humans. That’s just too many rodents in one city if you ask me.
The black rhinoceros (or hook-lipped rhinoceros) is found in eastern and southern Africa, including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Although they’re referred to as black, their colors vary from brown to grey.
A baby black rhino comes into the world after his mother has lugged him around in her belly for 15 -17 months. That’s something like two entire baseball seasons. Can you imagine being pregnant for that long?
Sadly, the Java rhino is going extinct. Even the most optimistic suggests that fewer than 100 of these rhinos remain in the wild. They’re considered to be one of the most endangered species in the world.
But despite that sad fact, they’re really amazing to see. The Javan rhino stays pregnant even longer than her Black Rhino cousin. The Java rhino stays pregnant for 16-19 months! But as they say, nothing worthwhile comes easy, right?
Mommy Shark (do-do-do-do-do)
Sharks are quite fascinating, and what’s even more amazing is that they have very long pregnancies. As a matter of fact, a pregnancy of two years is actually pretty common in the shark kingdom! One shark, in particular, takes the prize for the most insane pregnancy span in the world.
The Frilled Shark, once becoming pregnant, will remain in that state for about 3 and a half years! Can you imagine?! If you ask me, that’s just way too long. But hey, I’m not a shark. Maybe all the swimming around makes it easier.
The Harp Seal
Harp seals, possibly some of the cutest animals ever, don’t have the easiest life. They live in some of the toughest climates on the planet and are constantly trying to avoid being preyed upon and eaten by predators, one of which are human beings.
So it might just be that mother harp seals enjoy their 11-12 months of being pregnant with their babies since it’s the only time they can feel like their offspring are safe. Poor things. But hey, the animal kingdom is a harsh world.
Llamas Carry for About a Year
A llama mama carries her young for 11-12 months. Compared to humans, that’s an extra couple of months just waddling around with a big bump. Llamas have quite an unusual reproductive cycle for a large animal.
Female llamas are induced ovulators, which means that through the act of mating, the female releases an egg which is often fertilized on the first attempt. Female llamas don’t go into heat. Female llamas reach puberty at about 12 months old; while males don’t become sexually mature until around three years of age.
A Mother Daschund
There’s just something really cute about seeing fat little pregnant dogs. And what’s cuter than this pregnant daschund? Like most small dogs, dachshund pregnancies last for about 60 days. And what’s amusing about this breed specifically, is that sometimes their belly grows farther than their little legs.
While it may be adorable to see, it can actually make it really difficult for them to walk. But luckily for these little mamas, they don’t have to worry about trying to fit their swollen feet into four little shoes.
This pregnant Toque Macaque is a monkey that’s native to Indonesia and is known specifically for their amazing hairdos that you see in this photo. This means that all of these monkeys rock a natural hombre bowl cut.
This specific monkey pretty uncomfortable at this stage of her pregnancy, considering how big her belly is and the lackluster expression on her face. But this is basically the same face most women make around this stage in pregnancy.
This is Kiki the gorilla, who lives at the Franklin Park Zoo. In 2015, she was pregnant and posing for photos looking proud and adorable. She held her full belly in a way that only humans do, which is pretty amazing if you think about it.
Their pregnancies are similar to humans, lasting around 8 to 9 months. Newborn gorillas are smaller than humans, though, as they weigh around 3 to 4 lbs. And if a mother gorilla is thriving and healthy, she will usually have around 3 to 4 babies in her lifetime.
Here’s a sight to see. This female cow looks like she might not want a photo taken of her at this point in her pregnancy as it’s not the most flattering, but it’s just too amazing not to capture! This is one really pregnant cow.
Her pregnancy lasted 283 days, and she had one calf, which is quite surprising seeing the size of her belly here. This cow, like many others, weighs 1,600 lbs. can you even imagine carrying around a load like that on your legs? Well, at least she has four.
This French bulldog might be the cutest pregnant dog you’ve ever seen, but she doesn’t look too pleased. As you can see by the owner’s remarks, this is how she sleeps now. Poor thing – she probably can’t wait to return to a normal sleeping position!
This plump pregnant bulldog can’t get any bigger, and she’s getting close to the end of the 63 days it takes to make puppies. She’s also doesn’t seem to care about her photo being taken and going viral on the internet.
It’s amazing to see all the species of animals going through the same process of reproduction, but each one in her own way. While the pregnancies may vary in length and process, one thing more or less remains the same – and that’s the expressions on their faces.
This frog couldn’t look lazier with her full belly of little ones hidden away in her womb. This frog captures what most pregnant people and animals wish they could do all day, every day – lay on a log and do nothing. Am I right, ladies?
Pregnant Hairless Cat
Okay, so speaking of expressions that every pregnant animal and human have in common, this hairless cat epitomizes the feeling of being extra preggers. Her expression sums up the feeling of being absolutely fed up with carrying a child in your belly.
While many people may find these cats particularly ugly to look at, others seem to find them incredibly exotic or funny. I would have to agree with the latter. And seeing a fully pregnant hairless cat, like this mama, it’s hard not to smirk just a little bit.
An Unforgiving Couch Potato
Sitting on a couch and doing nothing other than watch TV is generally considered a thing only lazy people do. But this fat cat deserves the time to wind down and watch her favorite evening programs. If you’re dealing with all the extra weight that this cat is, we can forgive her.
Judging by the size of her belly, this mama cat is surely going to give birth to a large litter of kittens. If not, then she really let herself go with all the snacks she ate during this pregnancy. This poor thing looks like she can’t move even if she wanted to.
The hippopotamus is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, despite its calm and lethargic behavior. The problem is that they often hide just under the surface of the water and people in boats will accidentally get too close without even seeing them, resulting in the hippos attacking.
Pregnant hippos are the most dangerous when you’re up close, so it’s best to leave her, especially a pregnant one, where she is and mind your business. It’s a jungle out there after all.
Hyenas are some of the wildest scavengers in the animal kingdom, and they’re known for being ruthless and aggressive. But hyenas are also incredibly protective over their young, and since the mothers often have to hunt for food from other animals, they tend to hunt in packs.
This is a rare photo of a pregnant hyena in her natural habitat in Africa. If you’re even on a live safari trip, listen out for their iconic “laughs” but you’re probably not going to see a pregnant one. It’s a very rare sight.
The Beluga Whale is found in the cold waters of the northern Arctic and is one of the most beautiful marine creatures that you’ll ever see. They’re very calm and passive sea animals that migrate all around the world every year.
For a long time, sadly, beluga’s were hunted for their oil and meat. Now, luckily, they’re a protected species. That’s great news for this pregnant beluga who is carrying a very healthy baby.
Pregnant Kangaroo Needs Her Rest
Kangaroos are a national symbol of Australia, and they’re often one of the first animals that come to mind when we think about the country. But for many years, and still today, Kangaroos have been hunted as game meat and as a sport.
Thankfully though, more have come under the protection, and ever since their numbers have steadily increased. This pregnant kangaroo looks like she’s so tired of carrying her young that she just needs to lie down and take a rest.
If Bambi Got Pregnant
Deer are some of the most beautiful creatures in nature, aren’t they? Deer are another unfortunate prey that has been hunted for their food and fur. While hunting has been controlled as of late, many are still being killed every year as game.
Places like Nara Park in Japan, as seen above, have been established as sanctuaries with the goal of keeping these animals protected. This pregnant deer came to say hello to a young child, making that kid’s day the best one ever!
While it may not be something you think about or want to see, seeing a litter of scorpions is definitely a sight to see! Seeing this amazing process in the wild can be something quite beautiful, regardless of how deadly the creature may be.
Scorpions are actually some of the few insects in the world that give birth to live babies. An average birth can have 12 offspring at a time, and the mother has to be very protective over them when they’re small, as they’re very vulnerable. This mother carried her young on her back.
For centuries, the fox has been known as the farmer’s tormentor and the poet’s hero! Foxes survive by hunting fowl or small cattle from farms and as a result, are often considered as pests. But they’re just too darn cute.
If you spend a few moments with these creatures, you’ll see that they’re quite calm and passive. This pregnant fox seems to be happily resting in the winter sun, waiting to deliver her pups into the world!
Camels Carry for 330 Days
Camels are known to be quite stubborn and crabby, but consider the fact that camels have a gestation period of 13-14 months or around 410 days. Wouldn’t you be crabby too? That’s a long amount of time to carry around an extra load.
Did you know that the word camel is derived from the Greek word “kremal?” The camel is an important part of the desert ecosystem and is recognized as the “Ship of the desert.” Humans depend on them not just for meat and milk and for their hide, but also as one of the most important modes of transport in the desert.
Black Alpine Salamanders
This little black alpine salamander is part of the amphibian family, and she lives in the Central and Eastern Alps with the rest of her alpine salamander kin. Pregnant alpine salamanders are one of the few that give birth to live young.
Their pregnancies last from two to three years (oh my god), depending on the altitude at which they live. Typically, they give birth to two fully developed young. The salamander’s life expectancy has been estimated to last from about 10 to 20 years.
Tapirs Carry for 13 Months
A tapir looks like a cross between a pig and an anteater, but it’s actually closely related to horses and rhinos. And they also share a similarly long gestation period. A tapir calf is born after being carried around for 13 months in mom’s womb.
Newborns have brown- and beige-striped markings that help to camouflage them from wild predators. Their pattern fades, though, after a few months when the young tapirs become more mobile and independent.
Walruses Carry for 16 Months
Walruses have the longest gestation period of all pinnipeds (which is the name given for a group of mammals that includes seals and sea lions). Walruses carry their young for as long as 15 to 16 months.
Seal and sea lion mothers are also dedicated to their pregnancies, carrying their offspring for about 330 and 350 days respectively. But walruses have the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped.
Velvet Worms Get Pregnant Too
Not all with long gestation periods are large mammals. There are worm-like creatures that bear live young, including this velvet worm. This bizarre-looking creature is pregnant for as long as 15 months. Despite the name, these aren’t actually worms, and they’re not made of velvet.
Their bodies are covered with sensory hairs, giving them a velvety look. They are considered close relatives of arthropods (spiders and insects) and true worms (like the earthworm) which makes them interesting to paleontologists.
Birds’ Gestation Period
Birds have a simple form of reproduction, according to San Francisco State University. Unlike mammals, a bird’s embryo growth happens outside of the mother bird’s womb. But the egg membrane offers nourishment for the embryo during its process of development.
Birds produce amniotic eggs for the development of a young bird’s embryo. Different from reptiles and amphibians, a bird’s amniotic eggshell is hard, which prevents the embryo from drying out.