Failure to Launch: These Animals Stay With Mom For Years
In honor of Mother's Day, we take a look at a range of species—from orcas to orangutans—that prefer the comforts of home.
We've all heard of the boomerang kid—the 20-something who returns from college to live in their parents' basement—but does that happen in nature?
Not too often, but there are a few species who stick around mom for a long time—or even their whole lives.
Take the orangutan, which tends to do everything slowly, including leaving home.
The great apes give birth only once every seven to eight years, and the youngster will sometimes nurse until six years old—about the time a new baby comes along, says Helen Morrough-Bernard, a primatologist at the U.K.'s University of Exeter.
Most orang moms let the older offspring stick around for up to three years after the infant is born, while some chase the juveniles off