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Monday, June 25, 2018

LEAVE THOSE KIDS ALONE

(Popular Science) How a few members of the animal kingdom handle the transition to adulthood:

African Elephants
These beautiful beast come close to mimicking teen rebellion. Calves spend a decade with their mothers in female-dominated groups and ladies stay there but adolescent boys ditch mom for rambunctious crews of bros. In their 20s, they often downsize to smaller male cliques. Childhood 0-20 years average life span 70 years.

Orangutans
Slow metabolisms allow these primates to survive food shortages times when weather makes ripe fruit scare. But energy efficiency comes at a cost; growth and maturation take time. Orangutan mamas nurse their young longer than any other wild creature does. Childhood 0-8 years average life span 50 years.

Orcas
Killer whales join their mother's familial group for life. This forever-bond seems to increase a pup's chance of survival; if mom dies, a young male under the age of 30, is three times more likely to die than a peer whose mother is alive. Risk of death post-mom-mortem rises as kids get older. Always stays with mom average life span 75 years.

Harp Seals
A harp seal's childhood last just 12 days. A pup's sole purpose during that brief period of codding it to constantly nurse, gaining a fifth of its birth weight in blubber every day. Once it's plump they swell from 25 to 80 pounds, it slides off the ice and takes on the sea. Childhood 0-12 days average life span 25 years.

Wolf Spider
Every parent knows that tired toddlers love to hitch a piggyback ride. The wolf spider straps all her youngins 40 to 50 on average onto her back at once, carrying the brood until they are capable of fully functional spider-hood. But luckily she only has to schlep them for a few days. Childhood 0 - 3 days average life span 1 year.

Humans
Why do we take so long to bake? Our big ol'brains need up to 25 years to mature a period of elasticity that might make us more innovative. One study of teens and young adults found that youths outperformed their older cohorts in tasks requiring exploration and adaption. Childhood 0 - 18 years average life span 71 years.

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