Do Mothers and Fathers in the animal kingdom have equal parental responsibility?

It’s common knowledge that parenting skills have a huge effect on childrens’ development, and both parents teach their children different skills from one another. This is the case for animals, too, with many behaviours being learnt predominantly by one parent. Let’s see how animal parents in the wild act when raising their young…

Who teaches lion cubs to hunt? 

There’s no question that lions are ferocious animals who rely solely on hunting to be able to eat and survive. But how do they learn how to hunt? Surprisingly, lion cubs learn their hunting skills from their mothers. In a lion pride, it is the lionesses who hunt for the rest of the pride, so they will make sure to hunt in front of their cubs so that they can learn from watching them. The fathers have no input in teaching the cubs this skill, as they don’t hunt themselves. Who would have thought that?!

Who looks after a penguin's egg?

Just after laying an egg, the mother penguin will replenish her food reserves by hunting for food. During this time, the father penguin will protect their egg from the freezing temperatures of the Antarctic by standing over them for up to two months, whilst not being able to eat. Talk about dedicated baby-sitting! On the mother’s return, the parents will take turns looking after their chick whilst the other one hunts for food, splitting all responsibilities equally. They’ve certainly mastered the art of co-parenting!

Who teaches sloths to live?

Sloth cubs learn all their life skills from their mother, as they won’t leave her side until they’re about 6 months old. They will cling onto her belly until they know how to feed themselves and are strong enough to recover from potentially falling from a tree. During these months, the sloth cub develops part of their mothers’ range, so even when they leave, they can still communicate with their mother through calls. The bond between mother and cub is so strong thanks to the early stages of their development.

Who teaches foxes to hunt?

Fox cubs will learn how to hunt and fend for themselves from their fathers, who let them observe their hunting skills. Once the cubs are 4 months old, they’ll start to hunt themselves, but the fathers will help them by hiding food nearby for them to practice with. Everybody needs a bit of parental help to learn the necessities in life, even if it is secretly…
Both mothers and fathers have a huge impact on raising their offspring, and it’s interesting to learn that some animals do a great job of co-parenting, whilst some mothers and some fathers nail parenting all on their own, just like humans.
This Mother’s Day, show your appreciation to whoever means Mum to you with one of our animal soft toys. Take a look at our range of Parent and Baby sets here.