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  • - Narrator: Imagine giving birth to a 24 pound baby.

  • That's three times the size

  • of an average human newborn. Ouch.

  • But for kiwi birds,

  • giant chicks are the norm.

  • Females lay a single egg up to 20% of their body weight,

  • yet when you check out

  • other extreme births in the animal kingdom,

  • the kiwi can consider itself lucky.

  • Shingleback lizards also have a tough pregnancy.

  • These reptiles usually have one to two babies at a time,

  • which doesn't sound so bad,

  • until you realize that combined,

  • the babies make up a third of the mother's body weight.

  • That's like a human giving birth to a seven year old!

  • But a baby doesn't need to be big to be difficult.

  • Take the porcupine.

  • Those sharp spines protect it from predators,

  • but they're sometimes not so fun for Mom.

  • You see, baby porcupines, called porcupettes,

  • aren't hairless like most rodent newborns.

  • These guys are born fully quilled.

  • Normally, this isn't a problem for Mom,

  • since the quills are soft at birth,

  • and gradually harden over the next few hours.

  • But complications can arise

  • when the porcupettes are facing the wrong direction,

  • because their quills can get caught

  • in the birth canal on the way out.

  • Speaking of birth canals,

  • the spotted hyena has an interesting one.

  • Females have phallic-like genitalia.

  • The scientific term for this is pseudo-penis,

  • and they give birth out of the pseudo-penis,

  • which will sometimes rip apart in the process.

  • It's not only painful, it can be lethal.

  • In fact, about 15% of first-time mothers die giving birth.

  • But, believe it or not,

  • a species of velvet spider has it even worse.

  • You know how some animals chew up food for their babies?

  • Well, Stegodyphus lineatus takes this to a whole new level.

  • Right after she lays an egg sac,

  • the mother's tissues start to degrade.

  • Once the spiderlings hatch,

  • she regurgitates her own liquified insides,

  • and the babies chow down.

  • Nine days later, they suck up the last of her fluids,

  • and strike out on their own,

  • leaving nothing but an empty husk.

  • Thanks Mom.

  • But childbirth isn't just dangerous

  • or uncomfortable for mothers.

  • With some animals, the baby has it pretty rough.

  • Take the Tasmanian devil.

  • The mom gives birth to up to 50 joeys at a time,

  • each the size of a raisin.

  • They have to crawl from the mother's birth canal,

  • over her body, and into her pouch,

  • where they'll snuggle up for another four months.

  • But there's a catch.

  • Mom has only four nipples in her pouch.

  • So right from birth

  • the joeys are literally on a mad dash for their lives,

  • and only the strongest four will make it.

  • Talk about sibling rivalry, huh?

  • Overall, one thing is clear:

  • humans aren't the only ones who have it rough

  • when it comes to giving birth.

  • What's the craziest animal fact you know?

  • Tell us in the comments and thanks for watching.

- Narrator: Imagine giving birth to a 24 pound baby.

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The Most Extreme Births In The Animal Kingdom

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    April Lu posted on 2018/07/24
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