With it being the time of year we pay appreciation to our fathers I thought we’d celebrate some of the most impressive fathers in the animal world. So, here are three of the top dads in the animal kingdom.
1. Praying mantis
Male praying mantis make the ultimate sacrifice for their kids and actually allow themselves to be eaten by a female when mating! Males are literally eaten alive and mating may even continue once the female has eaten his head! By becoming his mate’s meal he allows the female to use his valuable protein to make her eggs mature faster, thus increasing the chances of his young surviving.
2. Emperor Penguin
Male Emperor penguins really put themselves out for their young when it comes to babysitting. After mating in Antarctic temperatures of -50 degrees centigrade, the female lays one egg. This egg is then incubated or kept warm at 30 degrees centigrade on the male’s feet by a thick fold of skin that hangs from his belly. He then stands there at the mercy of the elements for two months! During this time he eats nothing and loses nearly half his body weight. Once the chick hatches he has no solid food left but feeds him or her liquids. Only when the female returns to the breeding site is his duty done and he can take to the sea in search of food for himself.
3. Sea Horse
The remarkable male sea horse takes on what might be thought of as usually a female’s greatest responsibility – he actually gives birth. The seahorse is the only creature where the male has a true reversed pregnancy. Male seahorses are equipped with a brood pouch on their front. When mating, the female deposits her eggs into his pouch, and the male fertilizes them internally. Dad then looks after the eggs for the 10-40 days until he is ready to give birth to up to 1,500 babies. Often not all of the babies will leave the pouch at the same time, but in several phases over some minutes or hours. In extreme cases it can take one or two days.
That's some pretty impressive fathers eh! If you think you know of any animal dads who beat these please let us know below.