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WRITERS: Please refer to these Bullet Points when contributing to the Moms In Nature collab. CONTRIBUTE HERE


==


Cichlid Fish (pronounced Si-klid)


* All cichlid fish provide parental care in one form or another.


* This is not the norm, as most fish species do not provide any level parental care at all.


* Many African species of Cichlid Fish are mouth brooders, which means that after the mom lays her eggs, she picks them up and stores them in her mouth. This period can last between 21 to 36 days, depending on the species and temperature of water.


* During this time, her jaw will look very bloated and it is easy to tell that she is holding her eggs in her mouth.


* Some cichlid moms are able to eat while her eggs are in her mouth, but it’s a lot less often than she usually eats, and even then she doesn’t eat much.


* The eggs will remain inside the mom’s mouth until they hatch into fry, which is what a baby fish is called.


* The mom will also allow the fry to enter and exit her mouth for about 3 to 4 weeks after they hatch in order to protect them from danger.


* Once the fry reach a certain size, the mom stops letting them enter her mouth.


Sources: http://cichlidresearch.com/introducingcichlids.html
http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/articles/103

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Platypus


* Although the duck-billed platypus is a mammal, she is one of the few animals that lays eggs instead of giving birth to her babies.


* She usually lays two eggs at a time, and will curl around them for about 10 days before they hatch.


* When platypus babies hatch from their eggs, they are blind and hairless.


* Most surprisingly, while the platypus mom has mammary glands, she breastfeeds without benefit of a breast or a nipple.


* The mammary glands rest underneath the mother's chest.


* The hairless and blind babies pushes against the chest wall with their soft, pliable bills, and then licks the oozing milk off their mother's skin and hair.


* After about five weeks, the mother begins to spend more time away from her young and, at around four months, the young emerge from their burrow.


* Sources: http://www.platypusmedia.com/docs/mamlactate.html http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/the-mysterious-platypus-215317.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus

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Octopus


* Octopus mothers will lay thousands of eggs over the course of many months, up to 250,000, and fastens them to the walls of her den.


* When the eggs are first laid, they look like little bunches of grapes on a long, thread-like chord.


* She caresses the eggs with her tentacles, keeping them clean to ensure that algae doesn’t grow on them and provides the eggs with oxygen by constantly keeping the water around them moving.


* It takes the eggs up to 6 months to develop before they hatch.


* During all those months, the octopus mom cares for the eggs and doesn't leave them for one moment, prohibiting her from hunting for herself.


* The result is that the octopus mother doesn’t eat a thing while she tends to her eggs. As a result, she gets weaker and weaker until, by the time the eggs hatch, she has nearly starved.


* She then uses her last energy to blow her babies out of the den to help them on their way.


* Soon after that she dies either of starvation or because she is too weak to defend against predators.


* When the octopus eggs hatch, the babies’ bodies are very small - about twice the size of a pinhead, with tiny tentacles hanging down, complete with suction discs.


* Even though between 200,000 and 250,000 octopus babies hatch from the eggs, only 1% of them survive in the open ocean, due to multiple predators in the sea.


Sources: http://articles.latimes.com/1988-03-23/local/me-1557_1_mother-octopus
http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1613769

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==


Seahorse


* Seahorse mothers don’t actually give birth to their babies.


* It’s the male seahorse - the dad - that carries the the baby seahorses throughout the pregnancy and gives birth.


* The dad seahorse has a pouch on his stomach and can carry up to 2,000 baby seahorses at a time!


* A seahorse pregnancy can last from 10 to 25 days.


* The mom seahorse will lay her eggs and then put them inside the male’s pouch.


* The eggs are then fertilized by the dad and they hatch in his pouch.


* The dad cares for the babies as they grow in the pouch, and when they are ready to be born, he pushes them out.


* When the baby seahorses are born, they swim away and never see their mom and dad again.


* Fewer than five baby seahorses in every 1,000 survive to become a grown up seahorse


* This is actually a high rate of survival compared to other fish. This is because the young seahorse are sheltered in the father's pouch during the earliest stages of development, as opposed to the eggs of other fish which are abandoned immediately after fertilization.


Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/06/0614_seahorse_recov.html

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