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{Book Review} Animal Dialogues by Craig Childs

Let me start off by saying that this is one of my favorite books of all time.

Feel free to cross the jump if you need more of a review than that.  Read the rest of this entry

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Moms Rule!

I got to spend the last week with my wonderful momma bird, so I thought I’d celebrate moms today. Here are a few examples of awesome animal mommas!

Alligator and Crocodile Mommas build huge mounds of rotting vegetation for their eggs and guard them zealously. Crocodilian moms can be extremely aggressive in protecting their nests and listen for the sweet chirping of newly hatched gator babies. Mom digs up the babes and delicately places them between her deadly jaws. She ferries them to a swampy alcove, thick in protective vegetation, and some species may guard their babies for a whole year!

Big Cat Mommas are serious providers. Cheetah moms may spend two years teaching their little ones to hunt successfully – which mean mom is catching an awful lot of food to feed herself and a handful of hungry youngsters. African Lion moms spend a lot of time playing with their babies and protect them ferociously from predators and the rest of her pride. Ocelots and Mountain Lions are solitary species but will spend a substantial amount of time training their babies to take on the world.

Elephant moms not only give birth to 200 pound babies, but keep a sharp eye on them throughout childhood. Babies are never allowed to stray far and moms will mow down anything that can be perceived as a threat. There’s also some conjecture about the fact that older females simulate the physical gestures associated with estrus to younger females perceived to be naive, perhaps to teach them how to attract males later in life. There’s no direct evidence that it’s a teaching mechanism, but it’s a definite possibility.

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More?

Animal Planet’s Top 10 Moms.

NatGeo’s list of bad mommies!

Discovery’s list of Best Moms in photos! (Did you know that cow mommas are amazing mothers? I didn’t! They’ll break down fences to find lost calves and suffer extreme emotional stress if separated from their babies too early!)