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  • Imagine giving birth to a 1,360-kilogram baby.

  • That's practically the weight of a small car,

  • but it's the typical size of a newborn blue whale,

  • the biggest baby in the animal kingdom.

  • When they nurse, calves put on 90 kilograms

  • every single day

  • thanks to their mom's extremely rich milk,

  • which contains over 10 times more fat than cow milk.

  • So calves can grow to the size of a Boeing 757 by adulthood.

  • Sounds like a pretty cushy start to life,

  • especially when compared to other hefty newborns.

  • On dry land, elephants win the biggest-baby award,

  • though winning is a relative term.

  • They give birth to a 105-kilogram calf,

  • which first had to gestate in mom's womb

  • for nearly two years,

  • more than twice as long as a human pregnancy!

  • Close behind elephants are giraffes.

  • They drop a 75-kilogram calf, on average.

  • Literally. Mom gives birth standing up,

  • so the baby falls almost 2 meters to the hard ground.

  • But it turns out that tumble is pretty important.

  • The impact breaks open the amniotic sac,

  • allowing them to take their first breath of air.

  • Next in line is the white rhino.

  • Although not quite as long a pregnancy as an elephant,

  • babies still gestate for 15 to 16 months.

  • Once they're finally born,

  • calves weigh 40 to 64 kilograms,

  • roughly the size of an adult Saint Bernard.

  • But here's the thing. If you're about to give birth,

  • you're not actually worried about your kid's size.

  • You're worried about their size compared to you.

  • And shingleback lizards have it bad. Really bad.

  • Unlike most reptiles, they give birth to live young.

  • Usually, twins that total a third of their body weight.

  • That's like a human giving birth to a 7-year-old.

  • Meanwhile, bats usually have just one baby at a time.

  • But that one pup is huge!

  • A fourth of their mother's body weight.

  • That's equivalent to a human infant

  • the size of a 16-kilogram cocker spaniel.

  • Meanwhile, horse foals usually are 1/10

  • of their mother's size.

  • That's a bowling-ball-sized baby, in human terms.

  • Speaking of humans,

  • our newborns weigh about 3.5 kilograms on average.

  • Or 1/22 of mom's size.

  • That might not sound like much,

  • but we're actually pretty big.

  • After all, tiger cubs weigh only 1/120

  • of their mother's size,

  • and a red kangaroo baby

  • is a minuscule 1/100,000

  • of mom's body weight!

  • That's right.

  • A newborn joey can be as small as a single grain of rice

  • and won't be ready to venture from the pouch

  • for over a year.

  • But the world's smallest babies

  • are a story for another time.

Imagine giving birth to a 1,360-kilogram baby.

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The Biggest Babies In The Animal Kingdom

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/30
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