Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals, carrying their young for 18 to 22 months before giving birth.
Long developmental periods are common among highly intelligent animals. Since elephants are the largest living and biggest-brained land animals in the world, there’s a lot of development for elephants to do in the womb.
A large manatee’s pregnancy may not be obvious from the way it looks, but this gentle behemoth carries its babies for almost 13 months.
While spending the entire day in the water helps to reduce some of the extra weight, a manatee mother is still to be commended for her patience.
Although camels are renowned for their obstinate and gruff attitudes, remember that they give birth after 13 to 15 months of gestation.
The month of conception might affect the birthday; conceptions in November put the due date back 18 days compared to those in May.
The gestation time for other camelids, such llamas, is equally lengthy, lasting roughly 330 days (11 months).
Giraffe gestation lasts between 400 and 460 days (13-15 months).
The infant must be big enough to brace for a lengthy fall because the mother gives birth standing up despite being the tallest land animal in the world. (Interestingly, the embryonic sac usually ruptures due to the fall.)
The fact that lions and other predators are nearby makes the world a perilous place for newborn giraffes, which is one of the causes of the protracted delay.
Large mammals are not the only species having lengthy gestation periods. The velvet worm is one of several worm-like creatures that give birth to live young. This odd-looking animal may carry its pups for up to 15 months.
Despite their name, neither they are real worms nor are they composed of velvet. They appear velvety because their bodies are coated in sensory hairs.
They are particularly fascinating to paleontologists. It is because they are regarded as near cousins of both genuine worms, such as the earthworm, and arthropods (spiders and insects).
The gestation period of a walrus can last up to 15 to 16 months. This is makes it the longest among all pinnipeds (a group of animals that includes seals and sea lions).
Mothers of seals and sea lions don’t have it easy. They give birth to their young after 330 and 350 days, respectively. Additionally, among pinnipeds, walruses have the lowest reproductive rate.
Whales and Dolphins
Cetaceans like whales and dolphins are known for their high intelligence, intricate society and calm personalities. It is not surprising that they give their young special attention.
Orcas have the longest gestation duration among dolphins at roughly 17 months, though other species have varied times. The largest living predator, the sperm whale, has been known to carry its young for up to 19 months.
Black Alpine Salamanders
Amphibians known as black alpine salamanders are found in the Central and Eastern Alps and are live-bearing species. Depending on the altitude where the salamanders live, their pregnancies can extend for two to three years.
Usually, they have two fully formed offspring. The lifespan of this salamander has been calculated to range from 10 to even 20 years.
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