In animals too, parents take care of their little ones as best they can. On the occasion of Father’s Day, 30millionsdamis.fr has selected some species that take their father’s role very seriously.
Ostrich dad hatches eggs at night, owl dad monkey feeds his little one… Among our 30 million friends, some examples testify to a particular paternal devotion. Overview.
The male birds… real “daddy chickens”!
The Emperor Penguin is a devoted parent. Once the single egg is laid, the female lays it on her partner’s foot. She can then go fishing for about two months. It is therefore the parent who will watch over the egg to protect it from the cold… sometimes down to -60°C! The father keeps the egg warm, between the paws and the belly, to avoid breaking it. And to preserve that heat during storms, males cluster together, cling to each other, then gradually go inside and vice versa. When the mother returns, the egg will hatch and the parents will take turns caring for the chicks.
A division of labor that ostriches know well. Because the eggs laid are incubated alternately by the female (during the day) and the male (at night). After birth, the father will strive to protect and raise his little ones for almost a year. Her “cousin,” the male rhea – a large South American bird – is similarly considerate. It is not just the father who incubates the eggs – between 10 and 16 on average – but, in addition, after birth, it is still he who will guarantee the protection, feeding and education of the chicks.
In Australia, male jacanas are also “multitaskers”! These birds build the nests, incubate the eggs and care for the young. Loyal and benevolent, they may even watch over eggs fertilized by other males.
Some male mammals affectionate with their young
If he is faithful to his mate, the owl monkey is also an excellent father. The male watches over the education of his young, notably through play and even hugs. Once weaned, the little ones stop depending on the mother and start to be fed… by the father!
Your sense of family is well known, your loyalty too… It’s about the wolf! Affectionate and protective, the male wolf ensures the safety of his mate and pups. While the cubs are pampered by their mother, the father goes out hunting to feed the family. In due course, he will help his young wolves rejoin the pack and adjust to this new life.
Fish play an important role in egg hatching!
Male seahorses are well known for fertilizing the eggs that females lay in their pouch. They incubate them for up to 45 days, until the baby seahorses appear fully developed. When the time comes, the father will have contractions and expel hundreds of babies one by one. On the other hand, once born, little seahorses will be left to fend for themselves.
Finally, other fish have a very surprising way of protecting their laid eggs from predators, as they practice… oral hatching! Thus, the papa cardinal – a fish endemic to the Banggai Islands, Indonesia – keeps the eggs in its mouth for about twenty days, including after hatching. Once released in the water, the chicks are still protected by the father who holds them between the sea urchins’ spines or between the anemones’ tentacles.