Humans use many survival mechanisms to make sure that their babies make it to the adulthood, but sometimes Mother Nature gives animals almost impossible trials. Certain species start off in this life with nothing but a survival instinct, and yet somehow they still live long enough and manage to reproduce, which basically means that particular scheme works! And, as an added bonus to their dreadful childhood, at least they all look cute as hell.
The trick to surviving as a baby seahorse is… random luck. Less than 0.5% of all the baby seahorses live long enough to get a driver’s license… and reproduce. Literally everything but their sheer numbers is trying to kill them. They can’t swim well, constantly need to eat, and fall prey to everything from crabs to just about any other fish swimming by.
Let me paint you a picture here… It’s a hot day in African savanna. Mommy giraffe is giving birth standing up, so she could run away in case some predators smelled her brood. And they have. The baby giraffe thumps on the dry land, and, if it’s unable to stand and run, like, right now, it’s going to become a dinner. But that’s not all. Mommy giraffe usually kicks the crap out of her newborn calf to, you know, show it how it’s done on this side of mommy’s tummy. Good luck surviving that!
Imagine you wake up inside an egg, somehow manage to crack it, and then realize you’re freaking buried alive! That’s basically the fist few minutes of baby croc’s life. Of course the mom comes in and helps her babies out, but it’s still a hell of a start. The fact that the tiny crocs have to learn how to swim and hunt in just a few hours. They’re called nature’s killing machines for a reason, you know!
Baby Polar Bears
Baby polar bears need to survive temperature of around -20…-30 degrees Fahrenheit, constantly struggling for mother’s breast milk. Receding ice caps make hunting and general surviving extremely hard for these big bears. There were even cases where the mother was forced to eat her own cubs to survive. Nature is ruthless.
Just like house cats, tiger cubs come into this world blind and very much defenseless. Their mother brings them food and after some time one of the baby tigers starts to assert dominance. Mom likes that, she sees a future for that cub, and lets him feed first. Oh and apparently male tigers sometimes visit mom and straight out kill all the cubs just to get laid. Pickup master 5000!
Baby Emperor Penguins
Bird babies don’t have it easy, but flightless bird babies surrounded by ice and snow take the cake, obviously. Here we have the Emperor Penguin, whose featherless baby chicks usually have one of two options for their first meal: wait for mommy, who can be as far as 50 km away; or you can eat your dad’s sloppy seconds composed of 59% protein and 28% lipid, straight from his esophagus. 2 months later the baby birds should be fully feathered and capable of catching their own fish.
And finally, our last cutie is the baby chameleon. As it turns out chameleon parents are dicks. They straight out ditch their eggs and go away asap. The newborn baby “chams” are born with their uncanny abilities like the camouflage, the eyes, and the long tongue, so after some trials and errors, they will be able to either A) die of exhaustion or B) get themselves a nice juicy fly and live long enough to tell the tale!