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As humans, we may have at some point in time have been asked or at the very least overheard the question, “Were you dropped on your head as a child?”
It’s not exactly a complimentary inquiry, we know. When it comes to how some of Mother Nature’s wild newborns are treated during childbirth compared to how humans like to do things, it wouldn’t be uncommon to hear a lot of “Yes” responses (if animals could talk, that is).
Take for example the birthing process for a giraffe. We know giraffes are not a small animal, and females can reach heights pushing 16 feet (almost 5 meters).
It’s one of the reasons when, after a gestation period of upwards of 15 months, a baby giraffe gets welcomed into the world by being unceremoniously dropped 5 feet (1.5 meters) onto its noggin. It’s the cruel price to be paid for having long legs that allow a giraffe to reach speeds of almost 40mph (64km/h) as an adult. These 10 Animal Births Prove Life Is a Miracle Despite the head drop, a giraffe calf is on its feet within minutes, and the circle of life continues.
1. The Hedgehog
When a baby hedgehog (called either a hoglet or piglet) enters the world, it’s a tiny, blind ball of spikes waiting to be unleashed.
That’s because when its born, sharp protuberances-in-waiting are tucked just underneath the skin. Within a few hours of exiting its mother womb and as it’s surrounded by upwards of six siblings, a hoglet’s signature quills will start to make their debut. It’s a slow start to what will become the hoglet’s key defense mechanism as an adult, as 150 slightly dulled quills break through the skin and begin increasing in numbers until the hedgehog has 8,500 of them.
Hoglets are blind for the first month of their life, but that doesn’t stop them from wrestling with their brothers and sisters over a prime spot at mom’s milk bar. White as snow when they are born, the hoglets will also begin taking on the physical appearance of an adult hedgehog with the darkening of their quills. These little spiked bundles of cuteness will stay with mom for anywhere from six to thirteen weeks, at which point they bid a fond farewell to their family unit and move out into the waiting world.