12.11.2007

Gestational Periods for Thought

As I embark upon the last 50 days of my pregnancy I couldn't be more happy. Of course I'm excited to see if our little chicken is a boy or girl, if it has hair or is bald, if its eyes are blue or hazel, and so on and so forth. But even more pressing, is that I'm over this pregnancy gig.

Not to sound ungrateful, but come on...I know this little dude wants out. When it's not poking me in the ribs, it's trying to dig its way out my cervix. And when it's not doing jumping jacks, it's doing the running man.

So I started thinking about what species have gestational periods longer than humans ...what species have it rougher than 266 days?

My research led me to this:
• African Elephant, 640 days
• Giraffe, 395-425 days
• Camel, 406 days
• Seal, 350 days

On the flip side, check out these lucky bastards...
• Opossum, 13 days
• Hamster, 16 days
• Rat and Mouse, 21 days
• Rabbit, 32 days

I think it's the giant panda who has it made. Female pandas are fertile for only 2-7 days, twice a year. Their gestational period averages around 135 days. And, once born, the newborn panda weights only 4-8 oz. and is around 16 cm long. Taking into consideration the mature female panda weighs in between 150-220 pounds, giving birth must be a freakin' cinch. I could squeeze something that small out on my lunch hour!

2 comments:

mydthought said...

So true! What kind of evolutionary joke are we dealing with here? No panda is going to need an episiotomy for birthing the equivalent of half their left paw.

Jodie said...

The truly luckiest mother of all is the seahorse. Amongst seahorses, it's the males who get pregnant!