7 Extreme Animal Moms

From changing diapers to cleaning up vomit, human parents can have it tough, but at least they don’t have to incubate their babies under their skin or liquify their own guts to feed their brood like these animal moms do!

In honor of Mother’s Day in the United states, we’ve put together a list of moms that take parenting to another level.

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Sources:
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-18507515
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/06/18/rspb.2012.1038
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/six-facts-about-elephant-families-9015298.html
https://www.britannica.com/science/corpus-luteum
http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/surinam-toad
https://www.wired.com/2013/12/absurd-creature-of-the-week-the-toad-whose-young-erupt-from-her-skin/
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1439751
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1440965
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1439843
https://www.britannica.com/animal/hornbill
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3676330
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1989.tb04791.x
https://doi.org/10.1080/00306525.1969.9639117
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/new-skin-feeding-amphibian-found-in-french-guiana/
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/4/358
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0057756
http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/ufbir/chapters/chapter_18.shtml
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/PL00012662
https://books.google.com/books?id=R-7TaridBX0C&lpg=PA588&ots=sLZPkcBK0a&dq=african%20driver%20ant&pg=PA593#v=onepage&q=african%20driver%20ant&f=false
https://www.britannica.com/animal/driver-anthttp://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/15/resurrecting-the-extinct-frog-with-a-stomach-for-a-womb/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347281801753
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/spiders-mothers-cannibals-arachnids/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347217302555?via%3Dihub
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000334720191961X

Why the Male Black Widow is a Real Home Wrecker | Deep Look

Sure, the female black widow has a terrible reputation. But who’s the real victim here? Her male counterpart is a total jerk — and might just be getting what he deserves.

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DEEP LOOK: a new ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet extraordinary new friends. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

We’ve all heard the stories. She mates and then kills. Her venom is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. One bite could kill you. With a shiny black color and a glaring red hourglass stomach, she has long inspired fear and awe.

But most species of widow spider (there are 31), including the western black widow found in the U.S., don’t kill their mates at all. Only two widow spider species always eat their mate, the Australian redback and the brown widow, an invasive species in California.

And the male seems to be asking for it. In both of these species, he offers himself to her, somersaulting into her mouth after copulation.

He may even deserve it. During peak mating season, thousands of males will prowl around looking for females. Females set up their webs, stay put and wait.

Once the male arrives at her silken abode, he starts to wreck it, systematically disassembling her web one strand at a time. In a process scientists call web reduction, he bunches it into a little ball and wraps it up with his own silk.

Then, while mating, he will wrap her in fine strands that researchers refer to as the bridal veil. He drapes his silk over her legs, where her smell receptors are most concentrated.

After all of that, he is most likely to crawl away, alive and unscathed.

— Why does the black widow spider eat her mate?

No one really knows, but scientists assume his body supplies her with nutrition for laying eggs. Sometimes she eats him by accident, not recognizing him as a mate.

— How harmful are black widows to people?

We couldn’t find a documented case of a human death from a black widow spider in the U.S., but a bite will make you sick with extreme flu-like symptoms. Luckily, black widows aren’t aggressive to people.

— Why do black widows have a red hourglass?

It’s a warning sign, a phenomenon common in nature that scientists call aposematicism, which is the use of color to ward off enemies.

—+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:

https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2018/01/09/why-the-male-black-widow-is-a-real-home-wrecker

—+ For more information:

Black widow researcher Catherine Scott’s website: http://spiderbytes.org/

—+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

Why Is The Very Hungry Caterpillar So Dang Hungry?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el_lPd2oFV4

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Snail Sex
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOcLaI44TXA

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Origin of Everything: Why Does Santa Wear Red?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fajNM5OPVnA

PBS Eons: ‘Living Fossils’ Aren’t Really a Thing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPvZj2KcjAY

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Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by HopeLab, The David B. Gold Foundation; S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Vadasz Family Foundation; Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED.

20 MILLION Year-Old Spider!! Unweaving the Science of Spider Silk 🕷

You’ll never look at spiders the same way again!
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Living things have engineered some pretty awesome materials, but I’m not sure anything measures up to spider silk. It’s as strong, as stretchy, and as resilient than even humans’ most advanced creations like Kevlar and steel. So how do these awesome arachnids weave such an incredible substance using nothing but their rear ends? And… what IS this stuff? I went to meet Dr. Cheryl Hayashi, one of the world’s experts in spider silk, to find out.

Special thanks to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: https://www.macfound.org/

READ MORE:
Brunetta, Leslie, and Catherine L. Craig. Spider silk: evolution and 400 million years of spinning, waiting, snagging, and mating. Yale University Press, 2010.

Römer, Lin, and Thomas Scheibel. “The elaborate structure of spider silk.” Prion (2008).

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10 Truly Bizarre Jobs You Would Not Want to Have!

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