We all know how cute puppies and kittens are, but there are plenty of wild animals out there with babies to rival even the fluffiest, clumsiest little domesticated furball. Click through for some of the cutest babies throughout the world, along with fun facts about their young lives.
Geographical Location: Kenya and Uganda
Fun Facts: Named after zoologist Lord Walter Rothschild, this is the rarest type of giraffe on the planet. Only about 700 of them exist in the world today. At birth, Rothschild calves can be more than 6 feet tall, and it's the tallest of the nine subspecies of giraffe found throughout Africa.
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Geographical Location: Southern Asia, including India, Indonesian islands, Malaysia, Taiwan, Southern China and the Philippines
Fun Facts: The smallest of all the otter species, the Asian Small-Clawed Otter weighs less than 50 grams at birth. They’re also born toothless, blind and nearly immobile, making them completely dependent on their mothers.
Geographical Location: Eastern central and southern sub-Saharan Africa
Fun Facts: Hippo babies are big, weighing around 100 pounds at birth. They’re typically born underwater and must swim to the surface for their first breaths. Once born, calves can suckle their mother's milk under water by closing their ears and nostrils.
Geographical Location: Tropical forests of Central and South America, including Panama and Costa Rica
Fun Facts: Squirrel Monkeys are born into large family units, but females are responsible for the raising of young. After birth, they cling to their mothers’ backs to get around, and also for protection. The young will stay with their mothers for up to one year.
Geographical Location: Eastern Australia
Fun Facts: Though they’ll grow to weigh around 30-40 pounds at adulthood, Swamp Wallabies are born hairless and weighing less than one gram. After birth, they spend 8-9 months in their mother’s pouch, suckling and growing. The animal is nocturnal, spending its days hidden among the grasses and ferns until the sun sets.
Geographical Location: Throughout the mountains of Europe and South Island of New Zealand
Fun Facts: These goat-like antelopes live in herds of up to 100 members, and give birth to a single kid once a year. Their thick coat is brown during the warmer months, but turns gray during the winter, likely to camouflage the animal from predators. Baby Chamois stay with their mothers until they’re a year old.
Geographical Location: Worldwide, mainly in warm and temperate oceans
Fun Facts: Bottlenose Dolphins usually give birth to a single pup, which will continue to stay close to its mother long after weaning. During birth, the baby dolphin comes out tail first and is often helped to the surface by its mother for its first breath.
Geographical Location: Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Asia
Fun Facts: Red Foxes are born to litters of 2 to 12 pups, and are often grey or brown at birth. They’re toothless, blind and completely helpless for about three weeks. Both the mother and father help raise the pup to adulthood, before all three parties strike out on their own.
Geographical Location: Antarctica
Fun Facts: After the female Emperor Penguin lays her egg, she carefully transfers it to the male so she can find food and restore her energy reserves. The male incubates the egg for 64 days until it hatches, then both parents share the responsibility of raising the chick. Hatching can take a few days, as the newborn chick must peck its way through the very thick shell. New chicks must remain very close to their parents’ pouch and can die in minutes if subjected to the Antarctic elements for too long.
Geographical Location: Southern Madagascar
Fun Facts: This breed of lemur typically gives birth to one baby at a time, though twins can occur. A Ring-Tailed newborn is helpless. First it's carried on its mother’s chest for up to two weeks, then on her back until it’s weaned at 5 months. These lemurs live in female-dominant social family groups averaging 17 members.
Next: Baby Animals of March 2014
Geographical Location: Atlantic, eastern Pacific and western Pacific Oceans
Fun Facts: The Leatherback grows to be the largest sea turtle in the world, but it starts life small and vulnerable. Some researchers estimate that only one out of 1,000 hatchlings will make it to adulthood. Newly hatched sea turtles fight their way from inside their sand nests to the surface, ideally after nightfall, and scoot into the ocean. Interestingly, a sea turtle's sex is determined by the temperature conditions of the nest.