Growing up from Baby to Adult

Nic Harris


The Start of Life

How does life start? Is it the same for people and animals?


Some animals, like birds and alligators, start life inside an egg. But many animals carry their babies in their bodies.

For the first nine months before humans are born, they grow inside their mothers. Baby cats are inside their mothers for only two months. A female lion carries her baby for about four months. And an elephant is inside its mother for 22 months.

The mother is usually the most important parent. The baby is safe inside her. It takes food from her. The mother often looks after the baby after it is born, too.

But sometimes the father is more important. For example, the female seahorse puts as many as 1,500 eggs in the male seahorse's body. The father then carries the eggs for two to four weeks. The eggs get food from his body until they hatch. Now the baby seahorse can look after itself. Dad's job is finished!

The male sea catfish is important, too. After the female puts her eggs on the sea floor, the male takes them in his mouth. And they stay there for about two months. Then, the eggs hatch, and the baby fish swim out to start their lives.