Fatherhood in the natural world
Published: 21st Jun 2018In the natural world, there are some exceptional fathers...
Lots of animal fathers make pretty poor role models. They tend to find the female, mate with her and then leave her to bring up the kids alone. However, there are some noble exceptions…
Male seahorses carry the eggs, fertilise them and then incubate them for around 45 days, until the fully developed mini seahorses emerge. Seahorses can be seen at Living Coasts.
Marmoset dads groom, feed and give piggyback rides to the youngsters. They will be on hand for the birth of the babies, even cleaning up after birth and chewing through the umbilical cord. Marmosets can be seen at Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo.
This large, flightless South American bird mates with multiple females who all lay in one nest. The male builds the nest, incubates up to 50 eggs for six weeks and raises the chicks for six months. He also defends the youngsters against all threats. Rheas can be found at Paignton Zoo.
Frogs and toads
Many frog fathers and toad dads are dedicated. Some carry their tadpoles in their mouths, others embed their spawn in their skin, or on their backs or legs, such as the midwife toad. Male pouched frogs have pouches in which they carry the young as they mature, like marsupials. Many species of frog and toad can be seen at Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo.