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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tapirs — A tapir may appear to be a cross between a pig and an anteater, but it's actually most closely related to horses and rhinos and shares a similarly long gestation period. A tapir calf is born after 13 months in the womb. Newborns have special brown- and beige-striped markings that help camouflage them from predators, but the pattern fades after a few months when the young tapir becomes more mobile.

12 animals with the longest gestation period

Tapirs — A tapir may appear to be a cross between a pig and an anteater, but it's actually most closely related to horses and rhinos and shares a similarly long gestation period. A tapir calf is born after 13 months in the womb. Newborns have special brown- and beige-striped markings that help camouflage them from predators, but the pattern fades after a few months when the young tapir becomes more mobile.

"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)

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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