Top 5 Animals with Longest Gestation Period


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Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life filled with joy and exciting moments. However, it also comes with some unwanted side effects, such as swelling, lack of sleep, weight gain and mood swings. Women go through a lot during those very long nine months, but even though humans have a relatively long gestation period compared to the rest of the animal world, there are a few animal moms that go even further. Here’s a list of 5 animals whose pregnancy is longer than 9 months.

1. Camel

Camels have a gestation period of between 360 and 420 days or 13 – 14 months. Other camelids (llamas for example) have long gestation too – around 330 days.

2. Giraffe

The average giraffe pregnancy takes 15 months. The tallest land animal in the world gives birth standing up so the baby hits the ground from a height of 5-6 feet. What’s more impressive – the baby can stand within 20 minutes and run with its mom ten hours after birth!

3. Killer Whale

Killer whale gestation length averages 17 months and ranges between 15.7 and 18 months. Just one calf is born at a time and births occur in any time of the year but most often in the winter season in their respective regions.

4. Elephants

Elephants have the longest gestation period of all land animals carrying their baby for 22 months before giving birth. That’s almost 2 years! Baby elephants are also big: around 3 feet ( 1 meter) tall and weight roughly 200 lbs (91 kg).

5. Sharks

Sharks fascinate and frighten us at the same time, but did you know they have very long gestation, although it can vary greatly by species? The spiny dogfish carry its babies for about two years, basking sharks – for as long as three years, and the frilled shark once pregnant will remain so for the whooping 3 and a half years!