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Top 5 Best Fathers In The Animal Kingdom

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Father Oh Father

Father’s day is fast approaching and the stores are full of fishing plaques, man cave decor, and ties. 

And while the rush may be on to find the perfect gift for the dads in our lives, let’s acknowledge the importance of dads in nature. 

Fathers are vital to the repopulation of any species but there are those that go above and beyond just a quick hook up. Believe it or not, there are fathers in the animal kingdom that contribute to the wellbeing, safety, and healthy development of their offspring. 

Here are the top 5 animal fathers.  

5. The Giant Water Bug-

 Male water beetle with eggs on back

Yes even bugs can be good fathers, and the giant water bug is one of the best. After mating the female will lay her eggs on the males back. He will carry the eggs this way protecting them from predators, mold, and keeping them arated. Some species will lay their eggs on the ground, but the father stays to protect those as well. 

After they hatch the male giant water bug will continue to care for his young for as long as two years. 

4. The Barking Frog

barking tree frog

Lots of frogs and toads rank up there as some of the best dads as they will stay to protect the eggs or even carry the tadpoles to pools.  But the barking tree frog will go to the extreme of ensuring the eggs stay wet, even if that means he has to pee on them. 

Barking tree frogs do not go through the tadpole phase but instead are hatched as froglets. This frog does what it has to to ensure the survival of its young. 

3. Seahorses

male seahorses

Most people know that seahorses are among the top dads in nature. Not because they nurture their young after they are born but for the fact it is the father who carries the young. 

Seahorses have special brood pouches in which the female will lay her unfertilized eggs. The male seahorse will fertilize the eggs and care for his young in this brood pouch until they are ready to be released into the wild. 

The young fry are able to care for themselves from birth so it’s here the fathering stops. But giving birth to as many as  2,500 fry is definitely something to be applauded. 

2. The Grey Wolf-

Grey Wolf and pup

Wolves are often portrayed has fearsom or vicous by the folks in Hollywood, but if you take a moment to think of stories such as The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling you may remember that the boy Mowgli was raised by wolves. 

While it may be exceptional for a wolf to raise a human wolves are excellent parents. Wolves are among the most mognongmous bond mates in the animal kingdom. After the mother  gives birth the father will bring her food and is heavily involved in the raising and teaching of his young. 

This species also engages in alloparental care. If they find a wolf  pup that was lost or abandoned the pair may adopt it and raise it as their own. 

That’s pretty cool!

1. Emperor Penguins

emperor penguin and chick

I put Emperor Penguins in the number one spot due to their extreme conditions and parenting techniques. 

Penguin couples lay just one egg during the mating season. The female then transferred her egg to the males brood pouch to be incubated. She then makes her way to the ocean to feed. The male protects his young during the arctic winter for up to two months. 

During this time the egg will hatch and he will feed the chick and keep it warm until the mother returns. It is only then that the father will leave his young so as to feed. 

Pretty Awesome Short List

This short list of impressive animal dads is just that, a short list. There are many more animals that take caring for their offspring, and sometimes mate, seriously. 

Comment below with your favorite animal dad!

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About Author

Jenn Gaskin

After more than a decade in education I decided to turn my copious skills to writing. I have been freelance writing for Dancing Tree Gifts (formerly Sonora Kay Creations) since 2019. I wear many hats with DTG primarily copy editor, author, and web design.