Well on Sunday it’s Mother’s Day and I hope that this serves as a timely reminder for all that usually forget. Rather than take a look at the horrors of human child birth (I still have nightmares of Year 9 Home Economics where they stuck on a video of a live birth), I thought I’d take a look at three of very different mothers. Mothers of the animal kingdom that aren’t the nicest or the most caring but rather represent the lazy, the awful and the putridly vile (in that order).
Now, first up is a bird. Now bear with me on this. I know birds aren’t that exciting but this one is. I swear. The channel billed cuckoo is one of the laziest birds out there. It’s so lazy that it lays its eggs in another bird’s nest and let’s that bird take care of it. Magpies are often stupid enough to fall for this trick and even after the cuckoo hatches, the magpie doesn’t even notice! It just keeps feeding the cuckoo chick until it gorges so much that all the magpie chicks starve. Magpie fail, Cuckoo win!
Okay to a more interesting animal: giraffe! We all like giraffes right? Well the next time you’re at the zoo and gauge up to that spotty long-necked beast, take a look at just how tall it is. When the giraffe mother gives birth to its young, it does so standing up and because we all like gravity, the baby has no where to fall but down. Yep, that baby giraffe plummets a good two metres straight after birth…You seriously have to watch the video below. It’s just…look you just have to watch it! (If you’re lazy fast forward to 0:54)
Finally we come to the Koala. Now, I promised a putridly vile mother and the koala has got to be it. When we were young, we got fed milk. Nice, nutritious, perfectly yum tasting milk. Koala babies aren’t so lucky. Now you may be thinking that they’ll just get fed eucalyptus or something like that but no, you’d be wrong. Baby koalas get fed poo…yep…poop. Their mother’s poop to be specific. Honest, they just get fed shit. Biologists like to call it ‘pap’ but it doesn’t really disguise the fact that the babies are eating shit. It’s so gross I had to put a picture of it:
For a more detailed picture, check out this person’s flickr
Now just incase you were wondering, there is a reason why the baby koala is eating ‘pap’. As you’re all aware, koalas eat mostly eucalyptus. But eucalyptus is pretty tough to digest and there’s a whole lot of enzymes in the koalas stomach to assist in this process. Now these enzymes are not just created by the body, rather they’re passed down from their mother. So what better way to pass these enzymes than through their poop right? It’s also for this reason that koalas can only digest the same types of eucalyptus that their mother can as not all enzymes break down every single type of eucalyptus. Crucial information that zoos in the past lacked and eventually resulted in the deaths of several koalas who were not given the right eucalyptus. Note: Generic Eucalyptus doesn’t cut it!
And there you have it. Now of course we have neglected to mention the mother of all mother’s: Mother Nature. If you want to know just how much of a bitch she can be, click here. Don’t worry, its mostly pictures to look at.
For now, I leave you with this picture as a dedication to all mother’s out there and thank my own mother for taking the photo….HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
PS If you live in Britain or somewhere like that where the Mother’s Day was actually last week…soz. If you live in a country where Mother’s Day is in December…well you know, I can’t really control that.