Giving Birth: Animals and Stars in Action

Giving birth is a miracle, not only for us, humans, but for every living specie in this world. Below, we take a glimpse of how a few selected animals (and stars) give birth and how different and similar their processes are from us.


Frogs do not normally give birth to their young but instead, lay eggs. However, there are one or two species that carry their eggs in their mouths for protection until they hatch. An example of this is the Gastric Brooding Frog.


Dolphin intimacy happens belly to belly and though many species engage in lengthy foreplay, the actual act is usually only brief, but may be repeated several times within a short time span. The development period varies per species; for the small Tucuxi dolphin, this period is around 11 to 12 months, while for the Orca this is around 17 months. After a gestation, a single dolphin calf is born tail first. Labor can last up to 2.5 hours; and the female in labor may be accompanied by an assisting animal during and after delivery. Other members of the group have been observed approaching mother and calf shortly after birth. The calf nurses for about 18 months, but may stay close to its mother for up to 6 years.


Birth normally occurs in summer and spring in temperate areas but in tropical climes scorpions can give birth all year round. On the average, a female gives birth to about 25-35 young. They remain on her back until they molt for the first time. The white colored young have been seen to climb down off the mothers back, molt then return to the mothers back for another 4-5 days before leaving for good, usually within one to three weeks after birth. Once they climb down, they assume an independent existence, and periodically molt to reach adulthood. Typically five or six molts over two to six years are required for the scorpion to reach maturity.


It has been observed that some stars are shooting out jets of gas. The unusual thing about this is that they appear to be giving birth to planets again. How they can do this is still unclear, but the stars seem to have kept many of their youthful qualities. For instance, the researchers found orbiting disks of gas and dust extended around the stars, and, in the case of BP Piscium, jets of gas being ejected into space. These gas-and-dust rings provide the fodder for the making of planetesimals, such as comets and asteroids that can merge to form larger bodies, along with planets.


Sea horses are unusual in another way. The female sea horses lay the eggs, but unlike other creatures, it’s the males that give birth to the young. Male seahorses go through pregnancy and give birth to their sons and daughters. It has a pouch on its stomach in which to carry babies-as many as 2,000 at a time. A pregnancy lasts from 10 to 25 days, depending on the species.

The reproductive process begins when a female and a male seahorse do daily pre-dawn dances, intertwining their tails and swimming together. Eventually they engage in a true courtship dance, which can last as long as eight hours. It ends with the female depositing her eggs in the male’s pouch.


Most snakes hatch from eggs that have been laid outside the mother’s body, but among some snake species, females bear live young, as shown here. This method of reproduction may be beneficial to snakes that live in cold climates, because the pregnant female can bask in the sun to keep her developing offspring warm. (Photo and text courtesy of MSN)

Species that lay eggs, such as the black rat snake, are termed oviparous. Other species including garter snakes, water snakes, and Pennsylvania’s three venomous species give birth to live young and are termed ovoviviparous.


Some fish do lay eggs and some will give live birth. The most common types of livebearers are Mollies, Swordtails, Platys, Angel sharks and Guppies. These livebearers will quickly eat any young they can find. If one wishes to save more than a few of the offspring, steps need to be taken almost immediately separate the parents from the young after birth.

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15 Responses to “Giving Birth: Animals and Stars in Action”
  1. diane mccloskey Says...

    On June 27, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    great article! very informative, interesting and well written! thanks!

  2. R J Evans Says...

    On June 29, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Hey Zelliot. Thanks for this article – amazing the diversity of the species we have on this little blue planet! Your title provoked my interest too – I wasn’t sure before I read this whether I would be reading about stars in the sky or stars such as Britney SPears! Forunately it was the former! Thanks again!

  3. zelliot Says...

    On June 30, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    thanks for the comment, RJ! don’t worry, i do not intend to write anything about britney giving birth or any other star for that matter! haha. thanks again!

  4. louie jerome Says...

    On July 6, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Excellent article and some amazing photos.

  5. desmonrock21 Says...

    On July 8, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Great article Kabayan, How about the Elepant giving birth? hehehe

  6. IcyCucky Says...

    On July 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Like RJ Evans, this title is a great attention grabber for me..

    What a truly wonderful article..

  7. zelliot Says...

    On July 30, 2008 at 8:16 am

    thank you for the comments. it makes me smile every time i realize that there are actually people who appreciate what i write. thanks again! =)

  8. tonisan60 Says...

    On August 19, 2008 at 10:35 am

    The photos are just marvelous, the article is great, thank you for sharing it.

  9. samantha Says...

    On July 7, 2009 at 4:47 am

    hi, VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE. im a preschool teacher and this is an interesting knowledge to pass to my children. thank you.

  10. abby Says...

    On January 27, 2010 at 4:50 am

    tnx to your article……Its great!

  11. x Says...

    On January 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

    hey zelliot, do you know the types of animals based on how they care for their young?

  12. marcus Says...

    On March 8, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    can a animal give birth to a different species? ex. elephant – horse

  13. feibai Says...

    On June 17, 2010 at 7:53 am

    God is wonderfull

  14. Adama Says...

    On December 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    It should be noted that the Gastric Brooding Frog is a genus containing only two known species both of which are believed to be extinct. :( Poor little frogs…

  15. Velma Quigkhoff Says...

    On February 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    thank you so much for the amazing photos. i used them for my school\’s so awesome to get to realize how animals give births in so many different ways :)

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