Baby animals come in all shapes and sizes and are born in all sorts of different ways. Mammals give birth to few, well-developed live young while marsupials produce under developed young that later mature in the pouch. Most reptiles and birds lay eggs and monotremes are mammals that lay eggs.
Blue whale calves are known as the world’s largest baby animals weighing in at 3 tonnes and gaining almost 100 kilograms per day. On the other end of the scale, most Australian marsupials give birth to their young when they are no bigger than a jellybean then they grow and develop inside the pouch. Australian sugar glider joeys are about the size of a grain of rice when first born.
In the animal kingdom, it can be tough being a baby. Avoiding predators, competing for food and battling the elements are part of everyday struggle faced by newborns. When baby turtles hatch from their eggs they need to make their way from the nest on land to their new solo lives in the sea. With hungry birds flying above and 100 metres to the safety of the sea, it’s a mad rush to avoid being eaten.
Turtles aren’t the only tough babies out there. Barnacle goslings nest on top of cliffs meaning when they hatch they are forced to launch themselves 120 metres into the air, without the ability to fly. They follow their mother’s calls as they try to stabilise their bodies and hope for the best as they begin their voyage for food on the ground.
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