In the realm of animal parenting, dads don’t get the maximum amount of love as moms. You don’t see pictures of ice bear cubs cuddling with their old man or a baby otter snoozing on its father’s floating belly. Indeed many animal dads don’t contribute much to their offspring but their genes. In some species, males’ actions can seem far away from fatherly lemurs lions and grizzly bears sometimes kill infants of their own kind.
But animal behaviorist Jennifer Verdolin, author of the book Raised by Animals, offers a counternarrative She says many animal dads are minimized and sidelined by society. We have this narrative that mothers are caring and when a dad does it, it’s somehow miraculous she says. Learn about six animal dads that attend extremes to boost their young.
Yet dads guard nests, sit on eggs, defend dens and territories, feed gaping mouths, carry youngsters on their backs, and play with their kids. Their methods and roles vary the maximum amount because of the species themselves, but many of those fathers have something in common they are bonded with females. Usually you see tons of male care when mom and pop have an in-depth relationship and pop is often relatively certain that he’s spending time taking care of youngsters that he has sired explains Eduardo Fernandez-Duque a biological anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer. Otherwise, why would he be spending time on the youngsters if his mate has been cheating? Some animal dads, like Barbary macaques and orcas, actually do look after the young of others.
Biparental care tends to be more common in species with young that develop externally like birds with their eggs because it’s more practical for every parent to share the load. Mammals have a special situation than fish or birds due to lactation and pregnancy, which only mom can do he says. In other cases dads, though, dads essentially go it alone. Even among coupled species, parenting arrangements sometimes mean that mom is absent, like with emperor penguins, whose dads remain alone for months at a time. about the only dads of the animal world.