Maternal Wonders: 40 Intriguing Facts about the World of Animal Mothers 2

26Cannibalism in Axolotls

Cannibalism in Axolotls

Due to the scarcity of food in their natural habitat, newborn wild Axolotls will resort to cannibalism and eat their siblings' limbs. The victims still have chances to survive though, since the Axolotl can regenerate not only limbs but major organs such as gills at any stage in its life.

27. Giraffes give birth standing up, requiring the newborn to fall 6 feet to the ground.

28. Most polar bears are twins and while they are the largest land carnivore, newborn cubs are only about 10 inches (25 cm) long and weigh about 2.2 pounds (1kg). They grow rapidly because the mother's milk they feed on is 31% fat.

29. Dolphins are born with mustaches (hair around the upper lip). A mustache helps newborn dolphins locate and feel their mother for the first few days of nursing and falls off after a week or so because of a natural depilatory process.

30. Female kangaroos can be perpetually pregnant. While the young joey is nursing in her pouch, another embryo will put itself "on hold" until the new baby leaves the pouch, after which the inch-long newborn kangaroo will crawl up to and into the pouch.

31Fawn Kidnapping

Fawn Kidnapping

Fawns (baby deer) are often left alone for hours while their mothers forage for food. Sometimes well-meaning people 'kidnap' the fawn thinking it has been abandoned when it is just waiting for its mom.

32. Pandas will sometimes fake pregnancies to receive more food and special treatment from humans.

33. Kangaroos can pause their pregnancies for up to two years in times of hardship. They will then start it up again when conditions improve.

34. Mother black bears do not typically attack to defend their cubs. They may show harmless bluster, which makes them seem ferocious. Defense of cubs against people is mainly seem in grizzly bears not black bears.

35. When newborn opossums latch onto their mother's nipple for the first time, the nipple swells, and the baby becomes stuck to it for 55 to 60 days.

36Panda Fetus In a Cat

Panda Fetus In a Cat

Scientists have attempted to grow panda fetuses in a cat. It worked, but the cat's mother died of pneumonia before she completed term.

37. Pigeons, penguins, and flamingos don't feed their newborn young regurgitated food but instead puke up their cells from the crop and esophagus made specifically to feed young. The sloughed cells have more protein and fat than mammalian milk.

38. Newborn dolphins and their mothers don't sleep for the first month of the infant's life and barely sleep for the next few months.

39. It is vital for newborn kittens to begin drinking milk soon after birth and 24 hours at the latest. During the first several days after giving birth, mother cats give off "colostrum" which is a watery and yellowish substance that is full of maternal antibodies, proteins, and minerals.

40. Baby koalas have to eat their mother's feces for the first few months of their lives. This is due to the fact that the young ones cannot yet fully digest and break down the toxins in eucalyptus leaves.