In the animal kingdom, these moms rule!
Check out five marvelous mothers of the wild, then click through a supercute gallery of animal moms and babies.
Photograph by alery Plotnikov, Dreamstime
The female ladybug lays sticky jellybean-shaped eggs and places them on the underside of leaves so they’re hidden from predators. She also makes sure tasty, pinhead-size insects called aphids live nearby so her babies can snack after hatching.
Photograph by Sergey Uryadnikov, Dreamstime
Female orangutans give offspring lots of TLC. Young babies cling to their mothers’ backs or bellies for rides when their moms travel. As they grow older orangs start to get around on their own—but they still hold their mothers’ hands while wandering.
Photograph by Paweł Jachimek, Dreamstime
After their birth, scorpion babies scuttle onto the safety of their mom’s back. To help them climb aboard, she lays her pincers flat on the ground like ramps. The babies ride piggyback for about 20 days, till they first shed their outer skeleton. Then they go off on their own.
4. Emperor Penguin
Photograph by Vladimir Seliverstov, Dreamstime
Mother emperor penguins leave recently laid eggs in the fathers’ care. They then travel up to 50 miles to the ocean, where they gobble up fish. The moms eventually return to their families, regurgitating the grub into their newly hatched chicks' beaks.
5. African Elephant
Photograph by Duncan Noakes, Dreamstime
Elephant mothers use their trunks to steer their calves in the right direction as they travel, pull the little ones to their feet if they fall, and spray water at babies during bath time. Best of all, elephant moms give loving pats with their long noses.
Text by April Capochino Myers