Lesson 81 – Animal Babies

Animal babies develop and come into the world in different ways. Some develop inside eggs that protect and nourish them until they are ready to break out of the eggs, or hatch. Others develop inside their mothers’ bodies (in the womb) until they are ready to leave the womb and be born. Birds, insects, amphibians, some reptiles, some fish, and even two mammals hatch from eggs. The platypus and the echidna, both from Australia, are primitive mammals. They hatch from soft, leathery eggs at a very early stage of development.

All birds hatch, and most mammals are born.

Some animal babies, whether they are born or hatched, emerge highly developed. These babies require little or no care or training. They are precocial. Examples of precocial birds include the domestic chicken, ducks and some geese. Ducklings can walk, swim, and eat solid food, making life easier for the mother duck. But it will be several months before the ducklings are able to fly. Horses and deer are also species with precocial babies.

Others have a long development stage and need a lot of care from their parents. These babies are altricial. Among birds, these include herons, hawks, owls, cuckoos. Among mammals, kangaroos and most rodents are altricial.

A) Fill in the blanks with a word in bold from the text above:

  1. __ are baby ducks.
  2. Did you know that rats and mice belong to the __ family?
  3. Male penguins keep the eggs safe until the baby penguins are ready to __.
  4. __ spend their lives in water and on land.
  5. Bees and butterflies are__.
  6. A __ is an animal that has hair and a backbone. Humans, cows, goats, rabbits and monkeys are examples of this group of animals.
  7. __ animals are born with all their hair, feathers, scales and are able to see, hear, and move around their habitat.
  8. Rodents and bats are examples of mammals with __ young.

B) A baby duck is a duckling. With the help of the Internet please answer the following questions.
What do you call a baby

  • Bear?
  • Lion?
  • Elephant?
  • Tiger?
  • Deer?
  • Dog?
  • Cat?
  • Cow?
  • Sheep?
  • Horse?
  • Hen?