How to raise your young!
Parenting is not an easy task – not by a long shot. Just looking at us humans, raising children is a nerve-wracking task. But for animal parents, mother nature can be even more demanding. So, animals evolved different strategies for rearing their offspring.
Under the waves of the Pacific Ocean, a female octopus is looking for a vacancy. A safe place for laying her eggs. She attaches them with sticky strings to the ceiling of a cave. Mother octopus watches over the eggs, cleans them and supplies them with oxygen. She gives their everything for the next generation – even her life.
High up in the treetops of the Bornean Rainforest, an Orangutan mother shows her child how to traverse from branch to branch. These two are inseparable, literally. For the first months of its life the young never let’s go of its mother. With around one-and-a-half years, it becomes more adventurous and starts exploring the trees that surround it. The child will stay by its mother’s side until it is about eight years old – enough time for it to learn the ways of the jungle.
But it is not always the mother who is on its own. In some species the fathers take care of the offspring – poison dart frogs, for example. The males protect the eggs and once hatched, the father takes the tadpoles for a piggyback ride. The goal? Finding a safe spot for them to grow up in. A hollowed-out nutshell, filled by the latest rain would be the perfect fit.
For other animals, rearing young is a group effort. In Sri Lanka, the grown brood of Ceylon Blue Magpies help in feeding their younger siblings. As competition over food resources in the dense jungle is fierce, more beaks hunting ensures the survival of the chicks. And it’s a lesson for the teenage birds, too: they learn what nesting is all about for when they will raise their own young.
Our planet’s fauna is beautiful and multifaceted, as are the ways of animal parenting. Single mothers and fathers, same sex couples and whole colonies of sisters – all are working hard to ensure their offspring’s survival. And, just as a side note: this film is perfect to keep your little ones occupied – at least for fifty minutes.
A production of Terra Mater Factual Studios