Too Comfortable in the Womb?

Elephant Pregnancies Last Nearly 2 Years

Imagine a human's pregnancy lasting for nearly two years. 14 months longer than a human's gestation period, en elephant's pregnancy lasts exactly that long. New research offers insight into how elephants expect for so long.

Imke Lueders, a researcher found that elephants have more of a certain kind of gland called Corpus Luteum needed for growing a baby than humans do. In comparison women only have one Corpus Luteum gland per baby, while elephants can have 42 of this gland per baby. This provides a special hormone that develops the fetus. The more glands a female has the longer she can be pregnant.

A lion's pregnancy lasts for 4 months. Humans carry a baby in the womb for 9 months. Giraffes for 15 months and elephants go for the win with 23 months in the pregnancy cycle. No wonder elephants welcome their young with a celebration.

[Source: National Geographic]

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