The miracle of bringing life into the world can result in some, er, unusual looking animals. There just doesn”t seem to be enough room in some of these critters to fit a whole mini-version of themselves, much less a whole litter.
But somehow, Mother Nature makes it work. Take a look at some of the cutest roly-poly pregnancies around the animal kingdom.
1. This guinea pig is positively glowing.
Guinea pig babies are called “pups” and are born with already well developed hair, teeth, claws, and even partial eyesight.
2. This pregnant mare is looking marvelous.
Baby horses are collectively known as foals. If we”re talking just baby girls, though, it”s a filly. Baby boys are colts.
3. This zebra is about to earn her motherhood stripes.
Like her horse cousins, the babies are called foals, fillies, and colts and feature brown and white fuzzy stripes that grow darker as they age.
4. Moo-ove out of this mama cow”s way.
Her babies are known as calves, with the female being known as a heifer until she has her own babies.
5. This gorgeous goat looks ready to pop.
Her kids will be known as, well, kids. They commonly come in pairs of twins.
6. This dog”s big belly is about to burst.
She could be holding an average of six puppies in there, with larger dogs able to carry up to 12 in a litter.
7. This cat doesn”t seem to think it”s funny when someone calls her fat.
She might also be giving the stink eye because someone made a joke about how her kittens could all have different fathers, depending on how much she got around while in heat.
8. This squirrel is starting to look more like the nuts she gathers.
Male squirrels chase after the female squirrel in heat and the winners, anywhere from 4 to 16, get a chance at potential fatherhood.
9. This orangutan already looks a little overwhelmed by her bundle of joy.
She might have just remembered that even after birth, she will have her baby clinging to her for the next four months.
10. These seahorses are superhero dads.
Famously stepping in for the mom once the eggs have been fertilized, the fathers will eventually release anywhere from 1001,000 babies known as fry.
11. This seal is feeling pretty serene about her impending motherhood.
Probably because she was able to wait until she really ready, able to delay implantation and birth until her life is in just the right condition.
12. This elephant is grabbing a nice snack while she waits for her (big) little one.
And she is going to be waiting a while. Elephants have the longest gestation period for mammals at an average of two years.
13. I wouldn”t tell this mama polar bear that she looks like she”s put on weight if I were you.
Even though she generally gains around double her body weight in the first few months of her pregnancy.
14. This giraffe seems to be having some trouble reaching the water with a baby on board.
Giraffes not only give birth standing up, but they immediately help their newborn stand up. Within a few hours, the calf will be able to run circles around its mom.
15. This dolphin seems delighted by her delicate situation.
It will take around 17 months for her to meet her calf which, differing from most mammals, will be born tail first.
16. You don”t want to get in this lioness” way when her cravings strike.
You”ll also probably want to keep back for the first six to eight weeks after the cubs are born. She will be in her super-protective state, carrying them one by one from den to den to avoid predators.
Just be careful comparing your wife to any of these cuties. She might not find it as hilarious as you do until she”s lost the baby weight.