I bet you thought nine months was a long time to have a human being inside you. But you might be surprised by how long a gestation period can be…. especially for an animal!
The average woman has a gestation period of 274 days, or 9 months. During this period, vital structures are being formed, and the baby starts learning things right away, such as the sound of its mothers voice.
9 months seems like a pretty long time, its approximately 39 weeks. During pregnancy you can experience morning sickness and crave certain foods – these can last for the full term and it seems like a VERY LOOOOONG time!
But what if we told you that its possible to have a gestation period of 660 days? Well, that would be inaccurate if we were talking about humans, but not elephants.
Thats right, elephants, or specifically the African elephant, have a gestation period of over 1.8 years, nearly three times the amount of time that the average woman gestates a baby.
Could you imagine having your baby inside you for nearly two years? Would you even remember you were pregnant? Apparently not if you were an elephant.
Because the African elephants are pregnant for so long, they actually forget that they are pregnant by the time that they have the calf, as they have adjusted to being pregnant, and forget what it’s like to not have a baby inside them.
Imagine that, you’re devouring you daily dose of cranberries, having your usual vomit, and then bang, out comes a baby. Our deepest condolences go out to the poor African elephant, who has to stay pregnant for over 650 days.
How would you feel if you had to endure pregnancy for a longer period of time? SHARE your thoughts with us in the comments below.