Special Mother’s Day in the Wild
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we thought it would be fascinating to take a look at some of the remarkable ways mothers care for their young while out in the wild. Apart from giving life to young ones, motherhood in the animal kingdom also involves teaching their young how to navigate and survive in their new environment.
Take elephants, for example. Elephants live in complex family groups led by the oldest and most experienced female, known as the matriarch. She makes important decisions for the group, such as where to find food and water, and she is responsible for leading her family to safety when danger arises. The matriarch’s knowledge and experience are critical for the survival of the entire herd.
As for the big cats, the lioness’s role as a matriarch extends beyond simply leading the pride; they also play a crucial role in teaching their cubs how to survive in the wild. Lioness mothers teach their cubs how to hunt, and they continue to provide for them until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Similarly, female meerkats also form matriarchal societies. The dominant female is responsible for guiding the group’s foraging and breeding behaviors, and she is the one who makes the final decision when it comes to important matters like leaving the burrow or defending against predators.
Antelopes are known to have the ability to pause their pregnancies, a process known as “embryonic diapause.” This allows them to time the birth of their offspring with periods of the year when environmental conditions are optimal for their survival. Once the environmental conditions are favorable again, antelopes will resume the development of the embryo and the pregnancy continues until full term. This ability to pause pregnancy allows antelopes to optimize the survival chances of their offspring.
Even in the insect world, matriarchal systems exist. In honeybee colonies, the queen bee is the mother of all the worker bees, and she is responsible for laying all the eggs that will eventually become the next generation of bees. These examples show us that mothers play a crucial role in the survival and success of many different species.
So this Mother’s Day, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the hardworking and dedicated moms out there, both human and non-human. This is also a chance to plan a safari to come and witness the inspiring bond between mothers and their young ones in the wild.