Thursday, 3 July 2014

8 Strange Animal Babies That Look Nothing like Their Parents

Have you ever wondered how the babies of certain animals look like? Did you know that many times newborns bear little to no resemblance to their parents?

Today, we will have a look at some really strange animal babies which look nothing like their parents. I have included only the ones I found to be most interesting. Don't expect to see tadpoles, caterpillars and other usual suspects in this post.

Despite their weird and sometimes alien-like appearance, they’ll surely make you go "awwwwwww" with their cuteness!

1. Ocean Sunfish
Newly hatched ocean sunfish (Mola mola) has the size of a pinhead. However, they grow to be the heaviest and one the weirdest-looking species of bony fish. Female Mola mola produce more eggs than any other vertebrate on earth. On average, they give birth to about 300 million eggs! As you can see on the image below, babies have a star-shaped transparent covering that looks like someone put an alien head inside of a Christmas ornament.

Image showing an Ocean Starfish Fry
Ocean Starfish Fry

2. Ray-fish
With their white-pinkish coloration, cute little fins and seemingly smiling "faces", ray babies are surely one of the cutest creatures of the list. What looks to be like eyes are in fact gills. The real eyes reside on the front of their body.

Image showing newly born ray-fish
Baby Rays
Credit: Still image captured from this youtube video

3. Stump-tailed macaque
The stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides), also called the bear macaque, is a species of macaque found in South Asia. Infant stump-tailed macaques bear very little resemblance to their much larger and furry adult counterparts. The same is true for all the species of the Macaca genus.

Image of a Stump-tailed macaque baby
Stump-tailed macaque baby

Image of a Macaca sp. juvenile
Macaca sp. juvenile
Credit: Tony Campbell

4. Echidna
Echidnas are spiny mammals native to Australia and are the closest living relative to the duck-billed platypus. Despite their mammalian nature, they lay eggs, which are then hatched in a marsupial-like pouch. Echidna babies - called puggles - are born hairless and spineless

Image of an Echidna baby from Australia Zoo
30 days old Echidna baby
Credit: Australia Zoo
5. Kea
The Kea (Nestor notabilis) is a large species of parrot occurring in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. The species is known for its beautiful bright coloring and its intelligence, being able to solve simple puzzles. On the other hand, kea hatchlings are often described as one of nature's greatest abominations. To be honest, I find them to be quite cute!

Comparison between an adult and new born kea parrot
Kea parrot adult (left) & Kea parrot baby (right)
Credit: Action Press / Rex Features and Rubin Bush

Multiple shots of a newly hatched key parrot
Credit: Photos: Digital Spy and Action Press / Rex Features

6. Aardvark
The aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. They look much like pigs with a long snout. However, their closest living relatives are elephant shrews. The image down below was shot at the Detroit Zoo.

Image of a newborn Aardvark
Baby Aardvark
Credit: Mark M. Gaskill - Phoenix Innovate. 

7. Kangaroo
To most people, Kangaroos (Macropus rufus) don't fall under the "strange animals" category. However, the same can't be said about their babies. Baby kangaroos are less than 2 grams when born and have the size of a jellybean. They are hairless, blind and look more like maggots than kangaroos. It takes them many months until they start looking somewhat like their parents.

A newly born kangaroo
Kangaroo newborn

Image of a 4 month old baby kangaroo
Four months old female kangaroo
Credit: Assiniboine Park Zoo

8. Giant Panda
Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are called this way because they are simply huge. On the other hand, their babies are very small, fragile and don't look much like their parents. Newborn cubs are pink, blind, toothless and have a weight of only 90 to 130 grams. They nurse 6 to 14 times a day, for up to 30 minutes at a time.
Image of a crying panda baby
Panda Baby
Image showing panda twins
Panda twins
Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Have any suggestions for inclusion? If yes, that's what comments are for!

I have plans to update this list from time to time, so you may want to bookmark it and pay an occasional visit.

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