Incredible Animal Moms: Exploring Our Incredible World Series
Written by Mark Smith
This fifty six page book is another book in the exploring our world series. This volume focuses on the unique relationship between animal moms and their young. Smith has selected twenty animals; some are common but many are unique. He gives the reader just enough information to create a comprehensive portrait of the mother-child relationship and its uniqueness in the animal world. Each of them is accompanied by a photograph to illustrate the synopsis. The reader will be encouraged to pick out favorites and research other aspects of that animal’s life. Children aged eight and up might read the book independently. Younger children will enjoy an adult reading it aloud in several parts. Anyone who reads the book will learn something new; I know that I acquired a lot of new information. Did you know that a newborn elephant weights 250 pounds and that a mother elephant is pregnant for 22 months? All the female members of the herd live as one family and protect it.
Some animal moms and babies are remarkably similar to humans. They even look and act like us. These animals are extremely smart; they make their own tools which they use to find food. Some have even mastered how to use sign language to communicate with humans. The orangutan mom spends six or seven years teaching her babies survival skills. She teaches them how to make a new bed of leaves each night. Unfortunately, orangutans are disappearing because humans have cut down the trees they need for their habitat. The cow mother also is similar to a human mother. She will have a bond with her calf for life and socializes with her young throughout her life. The mother will travel for miles to find a calf that strays from the herd.
There are some animals that are very different from humans. You probably know that an octopus mom has eight arms, but did you know that each of them has a suction cup to move and catch food.? They are able to camouflage themselves and completely disappear. They also have a bird’s beak which they use to eat their food. An octopus mom has only one chance to have babies. She will lay as many as 200,000 eggs! For one month until they hatch, she stands guard for predators and does not eat. Some of these moms get so hungry that they eat their own arm rather than allow the eggs to go unguarded! Seahorse moms do not do any of the work in having babies. She chooses one mate, and lays all of her eggs in the dad’s pouch. He carries them until they hatch. He has a special hormone in his body to protect the eggs and give the eggs everything they require.
Some animals are beautiful and dangerous at the same time. The Strawberry Poison Frogs are brightly colored. They can be red, blue, green or spotted. They get their poison from the things they eat. These frogs are only about one inch long, but their bright color is a warning not to eat them. The mother lays about five eggs. When they hatch into tadpoles, she carries one at a time up a tree that may be 100 feet high and places it into a small pool she has made in its leaves. She feeds each one of her own eggs until they are fully grown. Pretty incredible for such a small creature!
I have only talked about a few of these incredible moms. Read this well written and illustrated non fiction book to find out much more extraordinary information about our animal world.
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