As you celebrate your Mother on Mother's Day, there are a few other mothers you might want to make a toast to as well. They are considered the best 'Mother Animals" on the planet, according to One Green Planet. As you may know, there are some great animal mommas that never care for their young, while others protect their children to the death. Take a look at this year's list, and see if you don't agree with this selection
Brown Mother Bears make up for Bad Father Bears
Brown bears are on the top of One Green Planet's list. But in my estimation, I don't think the fathers deserve any kind of recognition. The male brown bears will often kill cubs fathered by another male of the same species, in order to mate with more females and pass on their DNA. Unfortunately, one-third of brown bear cubs die during the mating season with 90 percent of those deaths being from a male bear looking to mate. While he may be a good father for his cubs, I don't think other male bears might think so.
On the other hand, Scandinavian researcher believes that female brown bears are special. They raise their cubs in closer proximity than humans, which keeps those aggressive males away. They act as a “human shield," which provides her cubs with a greater chance of survival. Now that's a great parent for you.
Lion Mammas is the real Lion Kings
In the wild kingdom, it's no secret that lionesses are not to be messed with. They make up the majority of the pride and hunt for the fathers, while always keeping a close eye on her cubs. During mating season, it's been told that multiple female members of a pride will not only birth together, they will also nurse their cubs up to the first two years of their lives. Lactating Mammas will care for other female's cubs in the pride as well.
While the male kings seem to get all the press, I think Mammas deserve the most credit.
Mother Pigs are Songstresses too
Not only are pigs incredibly smart, emotive, and very chatty, according to One Green Planet, they’re also great mothers. Pigs have dozens of distinctive grunts, including specific ones to call their piglets by name, allowing piglets to learn to recognize their mothers’ call for them.
Like many human mothers, pigs build strong relationships with their babies and even get anxious when their piglets run off. When nursing, mother pigs have even been known to sing a song or two for their young piglets. While pigs can't fly, mamma pigs have a lot of superpower skills that most humans never even knew.
Elephants & Mamma Boys
It takes mother elephants 22 months to give birth to a 200-pound baby. That alone makes this mother something very special in my book. One Green Planet says: "If that doesn’t already make them super moms, this certainly does: female elephants stay with their mothers their entire lives." Guess you can call the male cub's momma boys, even though the females are treated with respect as well since elephants live in a matriarchal society.
The herd's makeup consists of mothers, sisters, and calves, which are directed by an elder females. Mother elephants select several relatives as “babysitters” for their calves, so they can enjoy time-off from time to time. Now that's a true "Mother's Day" gift, don't you think?
Orcas Mammas will fight to the Death
Similar to elephants, orcas take approximately 17 months to give birth. Their calves stay with their moms their entire lives. While male orcas will mate with females from other pods, they always return to their original pods, where their mother orcas welcome them affectionately. Orca mothers also fight for their sons against any predators. Again the "Mamma Boys" syndrome.
In the Pacific Northwest, there's some research that indicates males often die one year after their mothers' pass, potentially indicating the amount of grief they endure.
Chickens' chicks chirp back to their Mammas from their eggs.
Similar to pigs, chickens have many vocalizations—including a warning alert for the flock when predators are in close range. In turn, chicks let their mothers know when they’re not feeling well. According to One Green Planet, "while that’s impressive, mother hens use their vocalizations to do something sweeter; mother hens chirp to their chicks before they’re born. What’s more, the chicks chirp back inside the eggs."
And if all of that isn't something unique, chickens have even been videotaped shielding their babies from the rain. Perhaps, owners of chickens should provide taped music for their Chicken Mammas and their chicks. This would give them a great opportunity to learn a particular tune -- perhaps starting off with "Singing in the Rain."
♪ ♫ I'm singin' in the rain, just singin' in the rain
What a glorious feeling I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds so dark above
The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Moms believe in "Tough Love"
There's one mother animal who is a real mu-thah!
This one didn't make the "One Green Planet" list — but it did make mine. It takes a real strong mother to take on a hands-off approach. And who are we to judge. Loggerhead sea turtle mothers is a species, which has been around since the Jurassic period of the Dinosaur Age. So they just might know a few things.
These turtles are hard-core free-range parents—leaving their offspring to fend for themselves right from the very beginning of their lives.
“Sea turtles may lay a thousand eggs in one breeding season. The hatchling babies that scurry into the ocean have just a week of food in what remains of their yolk sac,” says Kyle Van Houtan, director of science for Monterey Bay Aquarium. “But the mom and dad are never around to teach them what it means to be a turtle. All they have is instinct.”
So it's that "tough love approach" as to why I think Loggerhead sea turtles make great moms. A while back I wrote a poem in their honor. I consider Loggerheads Mammas as one of the best in the animal kingdom. See if you don't agree?
Traversing the mighty millennial seas,
Advancing from a prehistoric slumber,
Departing yesteryears, she flees,
Precious cargo to number.
Instincts honed, target coincided.
Her solemn gait measured . . . the Crawl,
Longitudinally guided. Latitudinally abided.
Digging deep for the nest of nightfall,
Her trance of purpose is her design,
Breeding loggerheads, it's next nation.
She covers. She turns. She resigns.
The sea beckons her homeward,
Until the next ovulation.
Happy Mother's Day y'all.
Primary Source: One Green Planet