Thursday, April 9, 2009

When Animal Mothers Suck (Part 2)

My favorite animal dad, I feel, is the best provider a male can be. He is the Von der Decken's Hornbill.
"What do you want, honey?" He asks the mother of his children, "A safe place to live? You got it." He then whisks her away to a tree hole where he seals her in save for a little hole he can fit his beak into.
"What do you want to eat today, dear?" He lovingly asks, "Some nuts perhaps? I'll go and get you some. You just sit tight and relax." He then flies away only to return with the finest food nature has to offer, sticking it through the hole in the tree.
"Are you scared, my sweet?" He reassures, "I am here all night and will protect you from the fiercest creatures." The male Von der Decken's Hornbill sits by the nest and caters to the female day in and day out. Once the babies start to outgrow the nest, it's time for mother and father to both go out and search for food, but dad will always be on high alert to protect his family. Awwwww.
But nothing screams devotion quite like the Emperor Penguin.
Try balancing something on your feet for 64 days straight in extremely freezing temperatures. That's what these dads do. They barely move while not eating for 64 days. The egg is balanced atop their feet to keep it away from the snowy ground and in order to stay warm themselves, all the dads huddle together. Meanwhile, the mom is out swimming, eating as much fish as possible. And if she doesn't make it back in time for the chick's first meal, the dad will regurgitate any food he has left in his empty belly for his baby.
Many people would say that the best animal dad is the Seahorse. Why is this?
Because he's the one that ends up giving birth? That's not a very good reason...though watching the video below might convince you otherwise. Popping out a baby seahorse looks very painful and very time consuming.

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