Image: All Photos by Traer Scott

Aw and Wonder in the Baby Animal Kingdom

A photographer looks at the wild’s cute, tiny, and vulnerable. /

Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? . . . Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return. (Job 39:1, 4)

White-Footed Mouse, two weeks old

A female field mouse is able to mate two to four times a year and, after a short gestation period, give birth to up to nine babies, which are blind, pink, and completely hairless at birth. These “pinkies,” which are usually only a few centimeters long, will be completely weaned and able to leave the nest just 21 days after birth, and females can have their first litter at the age of thirteen weeks.

Red Kangaroo, four months old

Kangaroos are the world’s largest marsupials, but at birth are about the size of a cherry. Born blind, hairless, and less than an inch (only a few centimeters) long, the joey immediately climbs into the mother’s pouch to nurse, and remains there for up to six months. The joey will spend a few weeks just poking its head out of the pouch, and then progress to spending increasingly more time in the outside world. It won’t be until almost a full year after birth that the young kangaroo will leave the pouch for good.

Screech Owl, four weeks old

These tiny owls are smaller than a pint glass as adults. Screech owls are generally monogamous, mating for life. They nest in hollows of trees, and often recycle the nests of other animals. In the nest, screech owl hatchlings fiercely fight each other for food and resources, often killing the smaller, weaker siblings.

Meerkat, three weeks old

Meerkat babies, called pups, are born underground and live in large matriarchal family groups in which fathers and siblings, as well as mothers, help to raise them. In meerkat society, there are many different roles, including ...

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Also in this Issue

Issue 54 / August 4, 2016
  1. Editor’s Note

    Issue 54: Antarctic ice, Alaskan bears, running mysteries, and wild babies. /

  2. The Last Desert

    Pilgrimages on Antarctica’s wild ice. /

  3. His Hand Feeds Us Both

    Thoughts on bears from an Alaska fisherwoman. /

  4. What It Takes to Run

    The saying about running as “a controlled fall” is deeply true. /

  5. Wonder on the Web

    Issue 54: Links to amazing stuff.

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