How Do Various Animals Take Care of Their Young?

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The way an animal takes care of its young is determined by the type and species of the animal. All birds lay eggs that they must protect and incubate, although this is accomplished in different ways based on the bird’s species. The majority of mammals give birth to live young and care for them in a variety of ways until a specific age is reached.

Hornbill seals build their nests inside tree cavities. The female seals herself inside of the tree to incubate the eggs until they reach maturity, leaving a tiny slit open to allow the male to bring food. The red-breasted goose and the peregrine falcon build their nests side-by-side to protect their young. The geese issue a warning when predators are spotted to alert the hawks, allowing them to fight off predators and defend the nests.

When it comes to feeding their young, most birds feed the strongest of the brood, allowing weaker chicks to die. In the case of rosella parrots, the birds make sure that each chick receives an equal share of food. This allows smaller chicks to catch up in size to their larger siblings. Older, stronger siblings also share their food with the weaker chicks until they are stronger. Another bird, the white-winged chough, kidnaps chicks from other birds and raises them for one season. When the season is over it uses the kidnapped chicks to collect food for its own young.

While both male and female birds help to raise their offspring, the majority of male mammals fail to help raise their young or have very little to do with the process. This is untrue for South American monkeys. In this case, both males and females share child rearing duties equally by caring for and protecting their young. Red foxes also work together to raise their young. The foxes build a maturity den, where they live with their young until the pups are old enough to leave.