Mother koala with joey holding on to her back and peeking over her head

Mommy and me!

Lion mom with two cubs nearby

The Animal Kingdom is full of really good moms. Every type of female animal has different ways of making sure her babies have a chance to grow up.

Caribbean flamingo mom with little gray chick tucked under her wing

Feathered moms

Bird moms (and dads) start by finding the perfect place for a nest. Mama bird lays eggs and keeps them warm and protected until they hatch (some daddy birds help, too). Some chicks are able to walk right after hatching; they stay close to their mom as she shows them where to find food. Other types of baby birds need more help; chicks that hatch without many feathers stay in their nest for a few weeks while one parent searches for food and brings it back to feed the babies. After a few weeks, the parents watch over them as they practice flying.

Gorilla mom with baby

Furry moms

Of all animals, mammal moms seem to do the most work; they keep their babies with them for a lot longer than bird and reptile mothers. Mammal mothers nurse their young and lick them to keep them clean. They "play" with their babies to teach them skills they'll need for hunting or escaping predators. Gorillas and some other mammal babies cling to their mothers, who carry them around until she feels her youngster is safe moving on its own. Marsupial moms such as koalas and kangaroos carry their babies in a pouch for safekeeping!

Green tree python hatchling

Scaly moms

Reptile mothers lay their eggs in safe places and some, like many pythons, even protect them until the babies hatch and are on their own.

Think about your favorite animals. Are they reptiles? Birds? Mammals? What do you think their moms do for them?


What cool things does your mom do for you? Let's hear it for all the moms—they get us up and growing!