APR 17, 2016 7:43 AM PDT

Nature

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Many babies in the animal kingdoms are born helpless, flailing creatures that require much energy and resources from its parents. Oftentimes, this responsibility falls on the female parent, hence why the phrase "maternal instinct" is usually associated with care and devotion to the offspring. In contrast, the paternal instinct for many animals is to mate with as many partners as possible without hindrance to childcare. However, there are some remarkable exceptions in the animal kingdom, whereby the males are the devoted dads that raise and protect their young.

One of the most familiar examples of devoted paternal care in the animal kingdom is the emperor penguin. In these animals, the father is the one who spends nearly two months cautiously guarding the egg between his feet and brooding pouch. During this time, he doesn't feed at all and moves very little in order to protect the egg from exposure to the Artic freeze. And if the mother doesn't return before the baby chick hatches, the already starved father regurgitates a curd-like substance to keep his chick alive. Talk about sacrifice and devotion!

For more remarkable examples of awesome dads in the animal kingdom, watch the video!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
SEP 10, 2020
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
Snails, marine and terrestrial, are likely primarily imagined to be attached to a substrate. However, under the waves, t ...
OCT 29, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Einstein: Gravity? What Gravity?
OCT 29, 2020
Einstein: Gravity? What Gravity?
Try imagining a fictional conversation between Issac Newton and Albert Einstein: "The apple falls toward the ground ...
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
FEB 19, 2021
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
Although not entirely accurate, romantic sentiments such as "you're my lobster" or "you're my pen ...
MAR 23, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Implementing Illumina NGS is a lot easier than you think.
MAR 23, 2021
Implementing Illumina NGS is a lot easier than you think.
Dr. John-Sebastian Eden is a Virologist at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. His group u ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Celebrating National Pet Day
APR 09, 2021
Celebrating National Pet Day
Sunday, April 11, is National Pet Day! From pandemic companions to viral videos, pets are a huge part of our lives. Even ...
Loading Comments...