How Much Do You Know About Animal Pregnancies?



By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Gestation is the period during which a female animal carries an embryo in her womb until birth. This process is part of pregnancy and is the norm for most mammals. A few non-mammals also go through this process of reproduction.

For humans, gestation lasts a mere nine months. Although most may consider it a long time, it is one of the shortest gestation periods in the animal kingdom. It has been determined that the length of gestation periods is directly influenced by the size and intelligence of the mammal.

Based on this fact, it comes as no surprise that elephants the biggest and smartest land mammals have the longest gestation periods which last a total of twenty-four months. After this, they give birth to just one calf of 200-300 pounds in weight. Second runner-up for the longest gestation period is the tallest land mammal; the giraffe. Giraffes carry their young for a maximum of sixteen months. Like elephants, giraffes only bear one calf and they are known to give birth while standing.

Next in line are the “sheep of the desert,” camels. These humped, aggressive mammals popular in the Middle East give birth to just one calf after a gestation period of fourteen months.  But enough of us giving away the answers. Can you tell us a bit more about the gestation periods of these animals? Only the pros can ace this quiz. Can you?

What animal has the shortest pregnancy?

The opossum has the shortest pregnancy. Opossums are only pregnant for a short 12 days, but their lifespan is also very short. This explains why they go through such a short pregnancy.


Which animal gives birth inside a chunk of ice?

Leopard seals give birth into a chunk of ice. The mother digs a hole into a patch of ice where the birth takes place. The gestation period for a leopard seal is about 11 months.


Which animal lays two rounds of eggs per year?

An earwig lays two rounds of eggs per year. Once the babies hatch, it can take up to 70 days for them to reach their adulthood. Their mother goes to extreme lengths to keep her spawn safe.


Which animal stands to give birth?

A giraffe stands when giving birth. The tall animals let their young fall from about six feet in the air. This can hurt them, but is also required in order to break the umbilical cord.


Is it true or false that a porcupine has a gestation period of 50 days?

A porcupine has a gestation period of over 100 days. Luckily, baby porcupines are born with soft quills, so they won't injure or harm their mother.


Which male animal gives birth?

A male seahorse gives birth to its young rather than a female. The male can have anywhere up to 1,000 babies at one time, although most are not likely to survive.


Which animal has the ability to make their pregnancies last longer?

Bears have the ability to make their pregnancies last longer. Bears are one of the few animals that can put their pregnancies off due to conditions. Judging by how safe they believe the birth to be at the time, they can put it off for a certain amount of time.


Rabbits can give birth to how many kits?

Rabbits can give birth to about 14 kits. Female rabbits also have a very short gestation period of about a month. Female rabbits can be bred at around 6 months of age.


What breed of dog had the world record for most puppies in a litter?

The Neapolitan mastiff holds the record for the most puppies in a litter. Tia, the Neapolitan Mastiff from the United Kingdom had a litter of 24 puppies !


Which marine animal goes through an extremely long pregnancy?

A frilled shark goes through a very long pregnancy of 3 and a half years. The sharks usually produce around 6 babies and they are able to mate all year.


Which animal can get pregnant shortly after being born?

A guinea pig can get pregnant shortly after being born. The female is mature enough at 2 months old to become pregnant and have babies of her own. Males also mature quite fast.


Which animal gives birth the same way that humans do?

A chimpanzee gives birth the same way that a human does. The baby chimp is born backward just like a human. A mother is pregnant for about 8 and a half months before giving birth.


Which animal is birthed through its mother's skin?

Baby Surinam toads are birthed through their mother's skin. The eggs are planted in small holes on the mother by a male after fertilization, and when fully formed, the babies break free through their mother's skin.


Which animal dies after giving birth?

A mother octopus dies after giving birth to her young. She dedicates her life to keeping the eggs safe, so much so that she will not eat up until her death.


Who takes care of the egg of an eagle after it is laid?

Both the male and the female eagle take care of their egg after it has been laid. The female can lay up to 3 eggs and they hatch about a month later.


Which animal can go through false pregnancies?

Dogs can go through false pregnancies. These usually happen for about a month and give the dog the symptoms of a real pregnancy. However, even though the symptoms are present, she is not truly pregnant.


Which animal will eat its own babies if it feels they're in danger?

A ferret will eat its own young if it feels that they are in danger. It is more common for a first-time ferret mother to do this, but entirely possible for it to happen at any time.


Which of the following snakes has a live birth?

The garter snake has a live birth. Typically, snakes produce eggs which the young later hatch from. The garter snake is one of the only snakes to give a live birth.


How long is a zebra pregnant for?

A zebra is pregnant for about one year. The baby is able to walk very shortly after birth. Baby zebras have brown stripes rather than their parent's black stripes!


Aside from humans, which animal cares for their young the longest?

Orangutans care for their young the longest. They take care of their young for around six years after they are born, a short time compared to humans.


Which of the following mammals lays eggs?

The echidna lays eggs. It is one of the only mammals that lays an egg other than the platypus. The word used for these mammals is "monotremes."


Which animal typically only has one pregnant female at a time in their groups?

Cotton top tamarins typically only have one pregnant female in their group at a time. While there is only one pregnant female, there are cases where there are multiple males who breed the female.


How long is a platypus pregnancy?

A platypus pregnancy lasts for about three weeks. Platypuses lay eggs rather than give a live birth. The mother gives birth to only two eggs at the most.


Which animal is able to have a virgin birth?

Hammerhead sharks are able to have a virgin birth. They are the first of their kind to have this kind of birth. The first shark known to have experienced this had not been with a male shark for years.


In a colony of wasps, which is the only one that can reproduce?

In a colony of wasps, the queen is the only one that can reproduce. She continuously lays eggs during the warmer months of the year. The rest of the colony are workers and most of them die.


What land animal has the longest pregnancy?

Elephants have the longest pregnancy, with a gestation period of around 23 months! During this time, they also produce the largest babies of any animal.


After an emperor penguin lays her eggs, who takes care of them?

After an emperor penguin lays her eggs, the male takes care of them. The female leaves for a little while where she spends her time hunting.


How long is a rhino pregnant for?

A rhino is pregnant for about 18 months. Baby rhinos are able to walk shortly after being born and stay with their mothers for about 3 years.


Which species eats its siblings in the womb?

The young of the sand tiger shark will eat its siblings in the womb. The babies eat each other, as well as the other eggs until there are only two of them left.


Which animal can produce over 100 million babies in its life?

An oyster can produce over 100 million babies in its lifetime. Oysters are hermaphrodites and they live in the same place for their entire lives.


Is it true or false that female beavers are pregnant for around 100 days?

This is true. Female beavers are pregnant for about 100 days. They are also monogamous, meaning that they mate with only one partner during their life.


Is it true or false that a skunk's gestation period is around 60 days?

This is true. A skunk's gestation period is around 60 days. The female can give birth to up to seven babies, which typically takes place in the spring.


Is it true or false that armadillos typically give birth to only one baby?

Armadillos typically give birth to about 4 babies. However, the armadillo lays only one egg that all of the babies eventually hatch from!


Which animal has a difficult time becoming pregnant?

A panda has a difficult time becoming pregnant because of the short period of time that the female is fertile. Female pandas are only fertile for a couple days each year and because of this, human assistance helps them to keep their populations regulated.


How many pups can an Arctic ffox give birth to?

An Arctic fox can give birth to 9 or more pups. Both the male and the female take care of their pups and the female's gestation period is about 50 days.


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