With Father’s Day coming up, now is the perfect time to take a few minutes to learn about the fathers of the animal kingdom. From bullfrogs to penguins, here are a few dads that go above and beyond:
While the Emperor Penguin doesn’t give birth to their young, they certainly aren’t slouches either. When the female Emperor Penguin lays her egg, she takes off on a feeding sabbatical while the father balances the egg on his feet to keep it warm until the chick hatches, forgoing food until the mother’s return.
The giant beak on a Greater Hornbill isn’t just a fashion statement! Greater Hornbills build nests inside of hollow trees, plugging the opening with mud and feces, to protect the mother and eggs inside. Until the chicks hatch, the father brings food to the nest up to five times a day. Once the chicks hatch, the mother breaks out of the nest with her beak and reseals it, with mother and father continue bringing food until the chicks are big enough to break the seal with their own beaks.
The Hardheaded Catfish is one protective papa. He places up to 48 fertilized eggs in his mouth and carries them with him for 60 days, going without food the whole time to keep his brood safe.
The Hardheaded Catfish isn’t the only aquatic animal to carry their kids in their mouth. Giant African Bullfrogs swallow their eggs, keeping them hidden away in his vocal sacs for six weeks while they gestate. For those that are curious, the kiddos come out the same way they came in.
Take some time on June 19th to thank the father figure in your life for raising such a compassionate human being!