ANIMAL PREGNANCY



  THE HIDDEN WORLD OF ANIMAL PREGNANCY  

" A human mother gave birth to an animal like baby! "
This kind of information had always thrilled me during my childhood when I read such information in a local daily newspaper. Sometimes the news described that the baby looked like a monkey, pig or snake. I was really puzzled.
News in a paper sometimes makes you believe that it  could have happened. But I could get the fact only when I studied embryology, unlocking mysteries of one of the nature’s most remarkable journeys—from conception to birth, when I pursued veterinary medicine.
A Human baby starts the life as a single cell, gets into different transformations during the developments before becoming a fully grown baby. It is surprising that the human foetus even gets a fish’s gill like structure for breathing before the formation of lungs. The heart develops like a football chamber before it gets the compartments and if the walls of the compartments failed to develop complete, which unfortunately results in septal defects.  Any interruption during the process could result in a baby of different shape and people attribute their versions based on their own imaginations.

Unlike human babies, The animal babies have to be born with an almost developed brain and a head which can manage  Neuromotor senses for immediate locomotory ability (Click here to read more in my other article). Therefore the transformations during their embryological process are more advanced.
Fetal development in the animal kingdom are of more surprises…. a single cell develops into a baby elephant weighing over 260 pounds, a dolphin foetus learns to swim inside its mother’s womb, a dog foetus as it exhibits full-grown dog behaviors while still in the womb. And some fetal features reveal their evolutionary path of these animals when the elephant develops ducts normally found in freshwater fish, and when dolphins show early signs of legs…

Gestation is the period of time between fertilization and birth of mammals—in other words, the time spent in the mother's uterus. You would be surprised to know some interesting facts about animal gestation.
The larger the animal, the longer the gestation period; in general, the larger the animal the longer the life but slow heart rate; smaller the size  shorter the life but rapid heart rate.
The longest gestation period for a mammal is that of the African elephant with an average of 660 days, and a maximum of 760 days.
The shortest known gestation period is 12 to 16 days with marsupials - the American or Virginian opossum and the rare water opossum, or yapok of central and northern South America. (Mammals in which the young are born prematurely and finish developing in a pouch located near the mother's abdomen)

Do dogs have belly buttons
All mammals have umbilical cord which connects the foetus to mother through placenta to get nutrition will have belly point. In  some animals like dog , They're usually only seen as a small scar in the midline of the abdominal skin.
The exception are the marsupials (animals with pouches like kangaroos) and the monotremes (platypus that lay eggs) have cords but no button/scar.

            GESTATION : HUMAN VS ANIMALS
MAMMAL SPECIES
NO. OF DAYS
MAMMAL SPECIES
NO. OF DAYS
Opossum
12
Bear, Grizzly
220
Hamster
16
Hippopotamus
240
Mouse/ Rat
21
Human baby
266
Rabbit
31
Cow
284
Skunk
31
Horse
336
Kangaroo
35
Sea Lion
360
Squirrel
44
Whale
360
Bobcat
60
Donkey
374
Dog
61
Camel
400
Cat
63
Giraffe
425
Scorpion
90 - 540
Rhino, Grey
480
Lion
108
Rhino, Black
540
Pig
114
Elephant, Indian
624
Goat / Sheep
145 / 150
Elephant, African
660





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