It is commonly believed that in animal kingdom, moms are the ones that take care of their offspring. They nurture their young until they get mature enough to start their own journey, while dads are usually absent during this process. We think that it’s important to address that there are some very caring and devoted fathers among animals, and that they deserve some attention and sympathy as well. While there are more animal species where dads show much affection and care towards their young, for this list we decided to focus on only 6 examples, so here they are.
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First in line is the most cunning animal in the animal kingdom. Of course we are talking about a red fox. Beside their best known attribute, male foxes are also very capable fathers. They have one of the best and smartest parenting tactics ever seen in the wild life, proving just how much they care. When the pups are little, fathers spend their time by hunting to feed the family and use their spare time to play with their offspring, keeping a healthy relationship with the pups.
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When a father thinks they have matured enough, he decides not to feed them anymore on purpose. Instead the father will bury the food around the den so that little pups make an effort to find it, sharpening their survival skills. We have to admit, fox fathers make a great example of a healthy balance between affection and a firm hand in their parenting.
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Golden lion tamarin
Golden lion tamarins aren’t that famous as a species, which is a shame, based on the fact that they look so magical. If their appearance isn't enough to melt down your heart from just looking at them, wait until you hear how thoughtful they are. These magnificent creatures make outstanding fathers. While in modern society it is not unusual for fathers to be too caught up in their work to find time for kids, these monkeys don't spend an hour away from their offspring.
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Since the minute they are born, until they are 2 months old, fathers will carry their babies on their back all day long. From time to time they will hand them to their mother but not for longer than 20 minutes. After the mother has nurtured them, they take them back and continue with their day. After the first month, these caring fathers start to feed their offspring with mashed food such as mashed bananas. Watching a baby golden tamarin on its fathers back is perhaps the cutest thing you will see today.
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Emperor penguin is known as the largest penguin there is. But there is something even more interesting about this species, male emperor penguins are among top dads of all animal kingdom. When a female lays her egg she has to go out into the ocean to feed itself for about 60 days. During that time these incredible loving fathers will keep the egg cautiously under their belly supporting it with their feet and protecting it from cold temperatures. Their incredible love and dedication is expressed most accurately by the fact that they do not eat or move until the mother is back or the egg hatches.
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Japanese water bug
One thing that you probably didn't think you would see on a list like this is an insect. Insects aren’t really known for any kind of parenting. Insects that do present this kind of behavior are very rare, and perhaps the best example is the Japanese water bug. When it comes to this bug it is the father that expresses devoted and caring behavior towards its eggs. The father takes all of the eggs on its back, which can count up to 150 eggs, and carries them all day and night for around 3 weeks. He defends them when needed with its venomous bite, and dries them from water in order to not get moldy. As we can see even small insects can care and have a big heart.
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Besides emperor penguins we have another flightless bird on this list. We are talking about Rhea. This flightless bird actually has more similarities with emperor penguins, besides the fact that it can’t fly. As we mention before, male emperor penguins keep the egg with them 24/7 without female help. Male Rheas are in a similar situation, they incubate their eggs on their own as well, but instead of one they can nest up to 50 eggs at a time. If you thought that’s a mind blowing commitment, wait till you realize that they not only incubate them until they hatch, but they also raise the chicks for six months. On the other hand they are not monogamous like emperor penguins. Instead they are quite the players. A single male rhea can have up to 12 female partners at a time. I think we all agree that the way rheas balance their fathers role with their polygamous lifestyle is quite impressive.
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Jacana is a great example of a caring and nurturing father. Jacana females are not really devoted to their offspring, instead they are only concerned with laying eggs. Once an egg is laid she leaves it with its father and goes on to find a different male. The father takes this situation very seriously, and acts as responsible as he can. He nurtures the egg in his nest until it hatches and then it stays in the nest with it to feed it and look after it until it gets mature enough to be left alone. They have such a caring heart, that if necessary, they will even take care of the eggs that aren't their own.
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Definitely one animal that might surprise you with his devotion is the wolf. Wolfs are usually viewed as the aggressive, dangerous and terrifying creatures, but people rarely notice their soft side. Male wolfs are very cautious and serious when it comes to raising a family. They have only one partner for life and they raise a family together. Female stays with the newborn pups all day and males take care of food and protection. These dads will do anything to spoil their pups from bringing fresh meat to playing with them as they grow. Maybe underneath their fierce appearance wolfs hide a heart of gold.
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