Wild Animals

Top 10 Animal Dads

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Rhea
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

At first glance it might seem like these South American flightless birds have a rather unusual mating arrangement. A polygamous species, the male runs around with a harem of anywhere between two and 12 females. But before you raise an eyebrow, take note: these dads carry their weight and then some when it comes to child rearing. Females leave their eggs with Dad, running off to get some action from other males. Meanwhile, Dad looks after the kids, not only incubating up to 60 eggs for over two months with just two weeks of food to sustain him, but also raising the newborn chicks as a single parent for nearly two years. And this dad is not afraid to charge at anyone — be it other female rheas or even humans! — who make the mistake of trying to get near his brood.

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