Go, Baby! These Animal Babies Grow Up Without Any Help From Parents
Why some offspring are left to fend for themselves from day one.
We all need a push once in a while—but hopefully it’s not a literal one.
WAQ reader Hannah wrote in asking, “Do mother birds push their babies out of the nest?”
Hannah’s question made us wonder: What brave offspring do get pushed out into the world before they feel they're ready?
Most birds receive parental care (March of the Penguins, anyone?), but megapodes—a group of chicken-like birds native to eastern Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines—are a big exception.
These birds “do not even directly incubate their eggs,” Roby says. Instead “they build a large mound of decaying vegetation and lay their eggs in the mound.”
According to The Handbook of Bird Biology, the mounds can be “the size of