Mother Nature’s Miracles: The World’s Cutest Pregnant Animals All Gathered In One Place
Of course the animal kingdom often comes to mind when speaking of maternal instinct. However, many of us probably haven’t stopped to realize that it isn’t only humans that go through the beautiful process of making new life, animals do too. So don’t go thinking that we’re the only ones who go through the pain, discomfort, bloating and cravings that come along with pregnancy. But it all pays off in the end when the baby (or babies) come. If you love a daily dose of cute animal than you won’t want to miss this collection of the world’s most adorable pregnant animals — we’re warning you now though, you’ll want to adopt their babies!
1. Maternal Monk Seal
This endangered monk seal lives in tropical climates, unlike other types of seals that prefer to live in frigid waters. Monk seals will carry their babies for around a year, sometimes longer, before giving birth. Once the pup is born, the mother will stay with the baby for five to six weeks.
During this period the mother doesn’t eat and can lose hundreds of pounds. The pup first comes into contact with the water at two weeks and reaches sexual maturity at the age of three years. The average lifespan of the monk seal is 25 to 30 years.
2. Glowing Ghost Bat
Everyone’s first sonogram is memorable, getting to see your baby for the very first time. In this picture, this ghost bat is having her very first sonogram. As not much is known about ghost bat pregnancies, the Sydney’s Featherdale Wildlife Park performed a sonogram.
Interestingly enough, the ultrasound machine used is exactly the same as the one used when performing the procedure on humans. This little ghost bat gave birth about two months after this photo was taken and it turned out that the baby was perfectly healthy!
3. Gorgeous Guinea Pig
This guinea pig looks like it’s just gone and accidentally swallowed a coconut it’s so round! Female guinea pigs can reach sexual maturity as early as two months old and they have a gestation period of around 59 to 73 days.
Guinea pig litters range in size from 1 to 8 pups and a female can give birth to multiple litters annually – in she can have up to 5 litters per year. We wish this cute pregnant coconut a happy and healthy litter!
4. Proud Panda
When you’re pregnant, being tired is a constant. This panda knows all about needing a little rest and relaxation. You might not be able to tell since pandas are so big, but she pregnant and apparently just wants to be left alone.
The panda’s gestation period lasts for around 95 to 160 days and female pandas reproduce about one cub every two years. The cubs are born disproportionally small to the mother, at just 3.2 to 4.6 ounces. If you haven’t seen the hilariously adorable video of a baby panda sneezing, you’re missing out!
5. Giraffe’s Pregnancy Problems
We all know that when you’re pregnant bending over isn’t an easy task. But just imagine that you have four wobbly legs to work with. This pregnant giraffe is trying her best to just get a drink of water without toppling over.
The gestation period of a giraffe is quite long at 425 to 465 days, around 15 months. When the calves are born they fall about six feet to the ground as the mother gives birth standing up. Talk about hitting the ground running.
6. Seahorses = Dad Goals
The seahorse is known for its unique breeding habits. It’s one of the very few species in which the male carries the eggs after fertilization. The female deposits her eggs in the male’s pouch after a period of courtship, which can last several days.
The seahorse can produce anywhere from 100-1,000 eggs at one time, however only .05% of the seahorse babies will survive. After their birth they are left on their own to survive, like most other fish. Scientists are still unsure as to why the male seahorse carries the eggs.
If you think that’s incredible, then you won’t want to miss the precious pregnant animal pics to come!
7. Round Raccoon
This raccoon is either fattening up for winter or heavily pregnant (could be both). Raccoons generally mate in late winter or early spring and their gestation period is around 63 days. Female raccoons produce litters of anywhere from 1 to 8 offspring.
The kits (aka baby raccoons) will stay with the mother in her den for around 8 to 12 weeks before they start venturing out along with the mother. The mother and babies will stay together until the kits are grown and independent.
8. Tenatious Turtle
This is an x-ray of a female turtle prior to laying her eggs. Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in a nest on a sandy beach a few weeks after mating. Almost all species of turtles nest during the warmest months of the year.
The female turtle lays around 50 to 200 eggs in the nest and covers the nest with sand to keep the eggs moist, maintain temperature and to protect from predators. Most female turtles return to the exact same beach to nest year after year.
9. Koala Carrier
This koala’s pouch is full with a baby joey. The birthing process for a koala is relatively simple, with a gestation period of only 35 days. The baby joey is born blind, ear-less and hairless. After its birth, the joey crawls up to the mother pouch and immediately attaches to feed.
When the joey is fully developed, it will start to leave the mother’s pouch and ride on her back. During this period the joey can still return to the pouch to feed. The joey is slowly weened off its mother’s milk and starts to eat eucalyptus leaves. The joey becomes fully independent at around one year old.
10. Sluggish Sloth
This proud pregnant momma is the slowest moving mammal on the planet. Female sloths give birth to only one newborn at a time and stay with the baby for around five months after giving birth. The gestation period of a sloth is six months for three-toed sloths and six months for two-toed sloths.
Interestingly enough, due to the anatomy of the sloth it can spend up to 90% of its life hanging upside down. Their internal organs are attached to their rib cage which means that hanging upside-down doesn’t put any pressure on their lungs.
11. Mama Jaguar
Jaguars are mainly solitary creatures apart from their 37 day mating period which can take place during any time of the year. The female jaguar’s gestation period is around 100 days and she can give birth to up to four cubs at a time.
The cubs will feed off their mother’s milk for the first three months of their lives, and they will start to venture outside of the mother’s protective den after six months. After a few years they become fully independent and find their own territory.
Mother Nature is full of many more furry mommies-to-be, keep reading!
12. Lion Queen
Sometimes when you’re pregnant you just need to lay down and take a rest. This pregnant lioness is taking a well-deserved breather from her daily routine. Lions live in groups called prides that can consist of anywhere between 4 to 37 lions.
Female lions have a gestation period of about 108 days and give birth to between one to six cubs at a time. Some female cubs stay within the pride but male cubs are forced out by the age of three.
13. Oval Orangutan
Female orangutans reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 years old, males 15 years old. The gestation period for the average female orangutan is between 8 to 9 months and there is almost always only one baby born at a time.
Female orangutans are very nurturing of their young. The babies are believed to stay with their mother for the first seven years of their lives. For the first few years the baby will ride on its mother’s back, then when it is old enough will follow her around until they eventually go their separate ways.
14. Groundhog Mating Season
Check out this chunky little momma! The groundhog mating season begins after hibernation in early March to late April. Their gestation period lasts for 31 to 32 days and give birth to litters of between 2 to 6 newborns at a time.
Groundhogs are actually closely related to squirrels and are commonly referred to as ‘ground-squirrels.’ They also build intricate homes by burrowing in the ground and creating a series of tunnels. They even have dedicated rooms for going to the bathroom. The newborns stay with the mother groundhog for at least two months.
15. Motherly Manatee
The manatee, sometimes referred to as sea cows, mates in a herd. Much like cows on land, the manatee is a slow plant-eater that grazes in tropical seas. The gestation period for a pregnant manatee is around a year long.
Female manatees reach sexual maturity around five years old, while male manatees take almost double that amount of time. Due to their long gestation period, female manatees only mate every other year. The manatee will nurse her young for one to two years.
16. Goldfish Family Feud
While goldfish don’t technically get pregnant, from this rather rotund display, it certainly looks like they do. This goldfish is full of eggs ready to be lain and fertilized. When water temperatures rise, female goldfish will release hundreds, sometimes thousands of eggs.
Like most fish, goldfish do not care for their young. Quite the opposite, adult goldfish will commonly eat the young when possible. Yikes! The newly hatched goldfish are referred to as ‘fry’ and they survive on a diet of brine shrimp and daphnia. Talk about a difficult childhood…
17. The Mother Of All Zebras
Everyone knows that stripes aren’t flattering on larger bodies, unfortunately, this pregnant zebra can’t do anything about it. The gestation period for zebra is around 12 to 13 months and gives birth to only one foal at a time, although the rare twin is possible.
Zebras live in family groups and consist of one male and multiple females. When a male foal reaches about 18 months old, he will leave the social group to either join another or form their own. Female foals will stay in the group with their mother.
18. Heavy Hedgehog
Most baby hedgehogs, known as hoglets, are born during the summer months of June and July. The average gestation period for a pregnant hedgehog is around four and a half weeks long and they give birth to litters of four of five little hoglets.
The newborn hoglets feed off their mother’s milk for the first three to four weeks of their lives then start venturing outside of their nests. After learning how to forage for food with their mother, the hoglets will wander off on their own.
If this animal surprised you with it’s adorable pregnancy, than you won’t want to miss the cute expecting creatures to come!
19. Super Preggo Squirrel
Female squirrels can give birth to two litters per year, however, its dependent on whether there is enough food available. If not, then she will only give birth to one litter a year. The gestation period for a squirrel is around 44 days long.
Each litter generally will bear around one to four kittens, who come into the world blind and hairless. The young are weened at around 10 weeks old and start exploring the world outside of the nest at around 10 weeks old. That’s nuts!
20. The Truth About Rabbit
We’ve all heard of the saying “to breed like rabbits,” and well… it’s pretty much based in truth. Rabbits have a shockingly short gestation period of only 30 days and give birth to anywhere between 4 to 12 kits at a time.
Rabbit breeding season lasts three-quarters of the year and rabbit are able to get pregnant almost immediately after giving birth. So that’s to say that rabbits could theoretically give birth to 100 babies per season, and over a lifetime 1,000 babies.
21. Tired Tiger Mom
Ok, this one is a bit iffy…. This is either a heavily pregnant tiger, or a ‘slightly’ overweight tiger (no shaming!) But either way, this is a perfect image to describe pregnancy, especially after you just ate that whole pizza and all the ice cream by yourself.
The gestation period for a tiger is around 16 weeks long and a female gives birth to around three cubs at a time. The cubs are born blind and require constant care from the mother during their first few months.
22. The Cat’s Pajamas
This pregnant cat is enjoying a luxurious sprawl in the sun and giving her slender legs a well-deserved rest from all the extra weight she has put on and carried around. The gestation period for a cat is about 2 months.
The average litter for a cat is around 4 kittens and a female cat can sire offspring from multiple male cats. Meaning, a cat can give birth to up to 5 kittens from 5 different fathers. The kittens are eventually weaned from their mother between 8 to 10 weeks old.
23. Adorable Dog
This incredibly photogenic dog certainly has a few buns in the oven and by the looks of it she couldn’t be more proud. Dogs reach sexual maturity between the ages of 6 to 12 months (although some larger breeds can take up to two years).
A dogs gestation period is 63 days long and female dogs give birth to litters of anywhere between 3 to 15 puppies depending on the breed, the larger the breed, the more puppies possible. Talk about the dog days of pregnancy.
24. Glowing Goat
This pregnant goat is ready to have kids. Did you know that baby goats are called kids just like humans? Female goats reach maturity around 15 months old and are then capable of having kids. Breeders, however, generally wait until the female goat has reached 70% of her adult weight.
The gestation period for a goat is on average 150 days and goats most commonly have twins, but single births and triplets are also possible. Goats are known for their willingness to eat just about anything, including tin cans and cardboard boxes.
25. Tiny Frogs
Nope, this is no toy. This amazing creature is actually a genetically modified transparent frog. Though frogs can’t technically get pregnant, this frog is definitely ready to lay some eggs for fertilization. This is the world’s very first transparent four-legged animal.
The frog was successfully genetically modified in 2007 for scientific purposes. As the frog is transparent, scientists can study how its organs develop and how cancer develops without the need for dissection. This creature is certainly a miracle of science.
26. Dolphins: The Ultimate Water Birth
Bottlenose dolphins have a gestation period of around 12 months and they generally wait around three years in between births. Dolphins don’t have a specific mating period, they are able to mate year round. The female dolphin cares for her newborn alone, without the help of the male.
Female dolphins generally only have one newborn at a time and the baby is immediately taken to the surface for oxygen after giving birth. The newborn dolphin survives off the breastmilk of the mother for around 1 to 3 years.
Don’t miss the last couple of amazing pregnant animal pictures, read on!
27. Mother Meerkat
Meerkats, both male and female, reach sexual maturity around the age of one. Females give birth to around three newborns at a time and have a gestation period of about 11 months. The baby is weaned off the mother around two months, allowing the mother to go hunt.
Meerkats are unique in that they live in a society of cooperative breeding, meaning that all the meerkats in the “mob” or “gang” help with raising the young. The mother leaves her young with a babysitter when she goes hunting. Now that’s pretty amazing.
28. Reproductive Rat
The average lifespan of the common brown rat is only one year, but they compensate for that in the shockingly massive amount of reproduction that they are capable of. The gestation period of rats is just 21 to 23 days long.
Each litter can produce anywhere from 5 to 10 baby rats. Amazingly a pair of rats can produce as many as 1,250 offspring in a given year. Not to fear though, things like a lack of food and shelter, disease, predators, pest control, in-fighting and cannibalism all keep their numbers in check.
29. Elated Elephant
Female elephants are ready to breed around 14 years old and they have the longest gestation period of any mammal in the world at a whopping 22 months. The elephant is also the largest and biggest-brained land animal in the world.
Other females in the herd will care for the newborn while the mother goes to feed to keep up her strength to produce enough milk. A baby elephant can drink up to a whopping 10 gallons of their mother’s milk daily.
30. Pregnant Pony
The gestation period of a pony is 11 months long and ponies generally give birth to only one offspring at a time. Twins are possible but are quite rare. Just an hour after birth a newborn foal is able to stand.
Foals are weaned from their mothers at around 4 to 5 months old. After being weaned off their mother they eat a diet consisting of grain and hay. Ponies, like other types of horses, are able to sleep while standing up.
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