Tag Archives: gestation period of mammals

Gestation Periods

For the human species,┬áspecifically females, the gestation period of nine months can often seem like forever. In the animal kingdom, the rule of thumb is the larger the animal, the longer gestation period. So in the context of the gestation period of all mammals, humans really don’t haven’t it that bad. For all the burden of a long gestation period, however, mammals are bestowed with longer lives — evidence for the second rule of thumb: the larger the animal, the longer the life span.

Opossum: 2 weeks
Mouse: 3 weeks
Dogs: 2 months
Giant Panda: 3-5 months
Sheep: 5 months

Lion: 4 months
Gorilla: 8-10 months
Human: 9 months
Horses: 11 months

Bottlenose Dolphin: 12-14 months
Giraffe: 15 months
White Rhinoceros: 16 months
Elephant: 21-23 months

For further reading: Animals: The Definitive Visual Guide, DK (2011)


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