Imagine giving birth to a 10 kilograms 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 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 realise that the combined babies makeup 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 for example, those sharp spines protect them from predators, but they are sometimes not so fun for mom. Baby porcupines, called porcupette, 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.
The spotted hyena has an interesting birth canal, females have phallic like genitalia. The scientific term for this is pseudo penis and they give birth out of this 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 have food for their babies? Well the Eresidae takes this to a whole new level. Right after she lays an egg sack, the mother's tissues start to degrade. Once the spiderlings hatch, she regurgitates her own liquefied inside 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.
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 joey's at a time, each the size of a rasin. 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 joey's are literally on a mad dash for their lives and only the strongest for will make it.
So there you have it, humans aren't the only ones who have it rough when it comes to giving birth. Please be sure to like, share and follow. Thank you.
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