1. Moms will always be moms!
2. Polar bears
Why are they amazing? Because mother polar bears raise their babies in an average temperature of -40F. They dig an underground den where they remain in a hibernation-like state throughout the coldest winter months. Then, after giving birth between November and February, they live within the safety of the den while the cubs feed on the fasting mother’s milk. When ready, the family surfaces and mom begins hunting seals again. At this point, the mother bear has been fasting for eight months.
After a 22 months long pregnancy, elephants delivery the world’s largest babies. With babies weighting around 250 pounds, elephants deserve to be on this list even if they immediately abandoned their babies. But they don’t have the luxury of just saying “thanks for all the stretch marks,” and getting on their merry way, elephant mothers continue raising their babies. Baby elephants are born blind and are completely dependent on their mother and the rest of the herd. While the baby is growing, they are lucky enough to have a great support system consisting of multiple full-time babysitters, called “allmothers.” While the allmothers take care of the dear little one, the mother elephant works to eat as much as she can so that she can make the most possible milk for her bundle of joy.
Unlike us, female orangutans have to wait eight years between births. This is the longest interbirth time of any great ape, so they make sure they spend most of their time with their baby. Baby orangutans are completely dependent on their mother for their first two years of life. What is more amazing is that during the first four months of the baby’s life, it will never break physical contact with its mother, clinging to the mother’s belly the whole time. Every night, the mother will make a nest and she and her baby will cuddle in bed during the duration of its infancy. Even as they grow, they continue to stay close to the mother and even breastfeed until they are five years old. The girls stay with their mothers longer than the boys, to learn necessary baby rearing skills.
5. Harp Seals
Harp Seals already live in a challenging environment where they have to raising babies on sheets of melting ice. On top of this, they have to constantly watch out for hungry polar bears. Can it get more difficult?? They nurse their pups on 48% fat seal milk continuously for 12 days without eating at all. Like this, the pup gains an average of five pounds per day while the mom loses an average of seven pounds per day.
6. Giant Pacific Octopus
The female octopus’ task is to have just one successful brood in her lifetime. To do so, she will lay roughly 200, 000 eggs and do anything to protect them. During the month of taking care for the eggs, the female octopus is starved nearly to death. She may even go as far as feeding on her own arms before she will leave her eggs for food. Once hatched, the offspring float around in blooms of plankton. The mother is left too weak to defend herself at this point and often falls prey to predators.
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