20 Animals That Are Pregnant for a Really Long Time

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List Criteria: List includes animals who are pregnant for a longer time than humans are

If you love babies, especially baby animals, prepare to overdose on cuteness. Prepare to learn something about animal gestation periods, too. Humans are usually pregnant for about nine to nine and a half months, but all of the animals listed below take even longer to say hello to the world. What's the longest animal pregnancy? You'll have to keep scrolling to find out.

Usually only mammals give birth to live young. All of the sea and terrestrial mammals listed below - from camels to killer whales to rhinos to elephants and more - have longer pregnancies than any human. There is even one prehistoric shark whose eggs hatch inside the mother, but this strange  version of live birth doesn't happen until well over three years of lugging the eggs around the ocean.

That's just one atypical fish, however. In this list, you'll find many different species that whose buns spend a long time in the oven, arranged by gestation periods from shortest to longest.
So take a look at this list of adorable baby animals and decide if insanely long pregnancies are worth it for all the adorableness that follows. 
Collection Photo:  Tambako the Jaguar
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  1. 1
    A horse is a horse, of course, and that means that a mare gives birth after 11 to 12 months of pregnancy.
  2. 2

    Sea Lion

    A sea lion gives birth to her pup after about 11 to 12 months. Years of swimming lessons are not required... sea lion pups are ready to swim right away.
  3. 3
    There are more than a few mammals that have a gestation period of roughly 11 to 12 months. The llama is one of them. And that's probably the single most interesting thing about any llama.
  4. 4
    Whitecoated harp seal pups have long been clubbed for their beautiful white coats. Female seals birth their snow-white pups after 11 to 12 months, and any pups unlucky enough to be born around the Canadian hunting season are at risk of clubbing.
  5. 5
    What's cuter than a dolphin? A little dolphin baby, obviously. A baby dolphin will swim out of its mother's womb and take its first breath after 11 to 12 months in the womb.
  6. 6
    An alpaca is a domesticated animal that resembles a small llama... or Taylor Lautner. Female alpacas give birth to these li'l cuties after about 11 to 13 months of pregnancy.
  7. 7
    How now brown cow? We'll tell you how long: cows give birth to their calves after 12 months of pregnancy.
  8. 8


    Manatee is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 20 Animals That Are Pregnant for a Really Long Time
    Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region/Flickr
    Manatees are protected water mammals that may have been the origin of mermaid legends. We don't know about mermaids, but female manatees breed every two years and carry their babies for 12 months.
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