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from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Human mothers have a relatively long gestation period compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, but a few animal mothers go even further. Here's our list of t

from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Whales and dolphins, also known as cetaceans, are known for their high intelligence, complex societies and peaceful personalities — it's no surprise that they also take a lot of care in developing their young. Although all species have different gestation periods, orcas have the longest period among dolphins (at about 17 months). Some sperm whales — the largest living predators — have been known to carry their young for up to 19 months.

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from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Velvet worm — Not all animals with long gestation periods are large mammals. There are some worm-like animals that bear live young, including the velvet worm. This bizarre-looking creature carries its young for as long as 15 months. Despite the name, they aren't true worms and they aren't made of velvet. Their bodies are covered with sensory hairs, which gives them a velvety appearance.

from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Camels — Camels are known for their stubborn and crabbish personalities, but consider this: Camels have a gestation period of 13-14 months or around 410 days. Other camelids, such as llamas, also have a long gestation period — about 330 days.

from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Rhinos — It might not come as a surprise that rhinos — because of their sheer size — are next on the list with a gestation period of about 450 days. This long gestation period is also an obstacle to replenishing the population. All five species of rhinoceros are endangered or considered vulnerable, and three out of the five are considered critically endangered.

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from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals, carrying their young for nearly two years before giving birth. Long developmental periods are common among highly intelligent animals. Since elephants are the largest living and biggest-brained land animal in the world, there's a lot of developing for elephants to do in the womb.

from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Walruses — Walruses have the longest gestation period of all pinnipeds (a group of mammals that includes seals and sea lions), carrying their young for as long as 15 to 16 months. (Seal and sea lion mothers are also dedicated, carrying their offspring for about 330 and 350 days respectively.) Walruses also have the lowest reproductive rate of any pinniped.

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from MNN - Mother Nature Network

12 animals with the longest gestation period

"Giraffes have a gestation period between 400-460 days...With lions and other predators abound, the world is a dangerous place for baby giraffes when they first come into the world--part of the reason for the long delay." (via mnn.com)

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