Happy Mother’s Day - to the Animals Too!
Dr. Nermeen Dashoush, PhD
STEM Specialist and Chief Curriculum Officer
for MarcoPolo World School

Mother’s Day is celebrated throughout the world on different days and in different ways. No matter how and when we celebrate it, we can all agree that mothers are amazing. Not just human moms, but animal mothers too. While these moms won’t be taken to brunch or get flowers today, we recognize some of the many great mothers on planet Earth.

Elephant Moms

Let’s give it up for mother elephants who have the longest gestation of any mammal on Earth. They are pregnant for 95 weeks! But the job of the mother elephant is far from done at birth. Despite being a whopping 250 pounds (113 kilos), newborn elephant calves are born blind and helpless. They rely on their mothers to protect and feed them. They even hold on to their mother’s tail with their trunk so that she can lead the way. Luckily, mom has the help of other mother elephants in the herd, as elephants live in a matriarchal society.

Deer Moms

Most of us don’t know that the mother deer is such a great parent, probably because we rarely see the moms with the babies. Mother deer hide their babies to protect them from predators while they look for food. When the mother deer returns, the fawn urinates and defecates. The mother deer then eats all of the poop and pee to eliminate any scent of the fawn, making it difficult for predators to find them. Eating poop! Now that’s love.

Mother’s Day
Opossum Moms

Carrying and piggyback rides are yet another amazing task performed by super moms all over the world. The mother opossum is no exception. The only marsupials in North America, opossums hold their joeys in their pouches until they are too big. Even after outgrowing the pouch, the opossum babies climb on to their mom’s back and hang on while she continues to carry them. This piggyback ride can get super crowded with approximately a dozen little opossums on her back at once!

Mother’s Day
Crocodile Moms

Crocodiles are probably not the first animal that pops into your head when thinking about loving parents. Unlike most other reptiles, the mother crocodile stays by her eggs and protects them until they hatch. Since the eggs are buried, the babies make a sound to alert their mother when they are ready to emerge. This sound brings the mother to the eggs and she starts digging! While you might not want anything to do with a crocodile’s jaws, these gentle moms actually carry multiple babies in their mouth as they swim through the water.

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