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Parents play a very important role in their lives of their children! During the early years, they nurture, nourish, and protect the child. As they grow older, they provide counsel, guidance, and advice to help the child grow into a teenager and adult.
But it’s not just we humans who depend on our parents. There are a number of animals with very strong parental bonds:
1. Orangutans — Mother orangs carry their babies on their belly for the first few months of their lives, and will share the same nest. Even once they leave the nest, female orangs visit their mothers for up to 15 years after birth.
2. Elephants — After a 22-month gestation period, elephant calves are entirely dependent on their mother due to the fact that they are born blind. The herd will care for the calf, caressing it with their trunks. Sometimes, they are raised by the entire herd.
3. Wolf spiders — Mother wolf spiders will carry up to 100 babies on their backs, protecting them from predators.
4. Orcas — Orca mothers help their young to swim to the water’s surface, teaching them to breathe the air. Orca babies swim in their mother’s slipstream to conserve energy, and female orcas live with their mothers for their entire lives.
5. Mouthbrooding fish — A number of fish species carry their eggs in their mouths to protect them. Even after the fish hatch, many still shelter in their mother’s mouth.
6. Penguins — Penguin fathers keep the eggs warm and safe while the mothers travel to the ocean to feed, digest, and eventually regurgitate fish to feed the baby. The father won’t eat for up to 100 days in order to protect the egg and hatchling, only eating once the mother returns.
7. Cows — Cows bond with their calves, licking and nuzzling the little one to clean it off. They also make a sound that encourages the calf to get up and nurse.
8. Strawberry poison-dart frog — To prevent her young from eating each other, the mother strawberry poison-dart frog will carry her young on her back one at a time to a small pool of water–often in a flower. For the next 50 days, she will bring food to her tadpoles. All the while, the father frog is on guard duty to protect the tadpoles until they grow into frogs.
Parents truly are important! Nature has created these animals to depend entirely on their parents for safety and nourishment, and we humans are no different.