Uncommon Knowledge: What is the slowest delivery in nature?

For a human mother-to-be, nine months of pregnancy may feel endless, but we still have it better than some members of the animal kingdom. Giraffes remain pregnant for 13 to 16 months—and not only that, they also give birth standing up, welcoming the baby into the world with a drop of 5 to 7 feet to the ground. Elephants experience pregnancy on an even larger scale, with the calf spending enough time in the womb to celebrate a second birthday before ever taking a breath. The longest vertebrate pregnancy, however, belongs to the frilled shark. One of several ancient species referred to as “living fossils,” this deep sea dweller can be gestate its young for 3.5 years before giving birth.

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Written by Nathan

Nathan is a copywriter, who helps create our product descriptions as well as our weekly emails. He is also a nationally award-winning musical theater writer, whose work includes an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Nathan has also been a classical violinist, tutored Kazakhstani jewelers in entrepreneurship, created large-scale games played across entire city blocks, served as a missionary in South Korea, conducted experiments in sonoluminescence, co-founded an exotic fruit-growing business, was a theater critic for Tucson Weekly, and as a teenager composed a women’s jazz quartet that is currently performed around the world.

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