It's Father's Day this weekend, so what better time to rank some of the animal kingdom's best dads. These doting dads prove it's not just human fathers who deserve a pair of socks and a card on Father's Day.
In fourth place for the best dad award is the barking frog. This froggy father will sit beside his offspring while they are still in their egg sacs, keeping them moist until birth. These guys would be higher on the list ... if they weren't wetting the eggs with their own urine. Still, it's the thought that counts, right?? Bonus picture included of an oreophryne frog dad who hugs all his little ones at night to keep them moist and protect them from insects. What a guy!
Third place goes to the marmoset (a little monkey from South America). These dutiful dads take over the baby-sitting soon after birth, grooming and licking their infants. Later the dads will feed their young 'uns as well as piggyback them all over the place. This probably continues until the young marmosets get their driver's license and a car (I didn't pay much attention in science class).
Second place is claimed by the very deserving male emperor penguin. The Antarctic is so cold that if penguin eggs were to just touch the ground the embryo inside would most likely never be born. So what does dad do? He holds the eggs on the top of his feet covered by his belly ... for two months ... without eating! If you look up "dedication" in the dictionary, there'll probably be a picture of an emperor penguin looking straight back at you.
But at the top of this list of animal dads, winning the title of "Father of the Year 2012" is the seahorse. Seahorses are always going to be pretty hard to beat, seeing as how they are the ones who actually give birth! Yep, I've checked my research and it's true. On average, a seahorse will give birth to 100-200 "fries". That's a dad who takes his job pretty seriously.
So there you go. There are some pretty exceptional dads in the human world too, but it's worth remembering this Father's Day that animals also care for their young and want them to grow up and be healthy.
What is it about your dad that makes him so great? Tell us in 30 words or less and you could win an Unleashed stubby holder to give to him as a pressie. Entries close Friday 31st August.
WINNER ANNOUNCED: An Unleashed drinks cooler is on its way to Samanthadavey (and her dad) for making everyone at UL feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)