Feb 17

Spring is nearly upon us here in the northern hemisphere, so to get you in the mood for the looming annual animal baby boom, here are some pictures of what some mothers have in store for them!  

Get me some moisturiser!

Photo of a three day old hedgehog

Your favourite garden visitor, the hedgehog. However, at 3 days old it looks like it’s in desperate need of a facelift!

Check out those diggers!

Photo of young European moles in nest

It’s probably a good thing moles spend most of their lives underground, with wrinkly babies like these! They have large, spade-like forepaws, well adapted for excavating their tunnels.

Practicing for a ‘Thriller’ performance?

Photo of a turkey vulture chick

Unfortunately for this turkey vulture chick, it’s not going to get any more handsome than this. It can look forward to a diet of rotting meat, and the possibility of growing a number of whitish warts on its bright pink head. Lucky thing!

You are what you eat

Photo of naked mole rat queen with young suckling

A renowned beauty, the young naked mole rat, after weaning, dines on a delicious meal of faeces. They live in colonies where a single queen is the only member allowed to breed, and is the only one to suckle the young.

An alternative to a rubber ducky?

Photo of cormorant chicks in nest

In the first few days of life, cormorant chicks feed on liquid regurgitated by the parents, later taking solid food from the parent’s throats. Let’s hope some feathers appear soon!

Kangaroo kindergarten

Photo of three week old red kangaroo in pouch, attached to teat

It’s hard to believe that this tiny alien-like critter will grow into the world’s largest marsupial, the red kangaroo. At birth, the newborn weighs a mere 0.75 grams, and takes about three minutes to make its way, unaided, through the female’s fur and into the pouch, where it attaches to a teat for the next 70 days.

Snuggled puggle 

Photo of a young short-beaked echidna, or puggle, in burrow

This curled up short-beaked echidna, is one of the few egg laying mammals, otherwise known as the monotremes. The young of this species is also known by the rather adorable name of ‘puggle’ –  if only it was as cute as its name suggests! 

Blood-thirsty babies!

Black widow spiderling photo

This black widow spiderling is definitely not a sweet baby. On average out of the 100 or so young that hatch, only 1-12 survive due to cannibalism by siblings. It will grow into one of the most venomous spiders in the world, so no cooing over this baby!

A bit exposed!

Photo of young chacoan naked-tailed armadillo

This nudist newborn, known as the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo, will luckily develop thick bony plates over its head, body and limbs. At least it won’t be starkers for long!

Aye-aye phone home…

Photo of young aye-aye

At number 10 and our personal favourite – the aye-aye. With its extended middle finger, this baby is reminiscent of a furry ET. However it does have its uses, such as tapping on branches to find insects, and then scooping out the prey.

Can you spot any other ugly babies on ARKive? Let us know!

Rebecca Sennett and Rebecca Taylor, ARKive Media Research Assistants

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