Well we've seen that monkeys can be at-home dads, but how many other male animal species can make the same claim? A quick look in YouTube uncovered this male rat experimenting with the primary care-giver role. I began an afternoon search for the hardest working animal dad, so I looked for more researchand researched that research and the Oscar for hardest working male species goes to.... The Emperor Penguin. And by a landslide. And its not because they were last years Oscar winner for best documentary, or that they were chosen to be the mascot for the North East Wisconsin At-Home Dads. It's because after the female penguin lays her egg she hands it off to dad and takes off shopping for more food.... 2 months later she comes back, but not before dad (with the egg balanced on his feet the whole time) freezes and starves half to death.
Below are the 4 runner ups:
1. The Seahorse Dad - Tennessee Aquarium's curator of fishes says the male gets the eggs from mom and carries them to term. Dad isn't technically pregnant but he's got them 'em in his pouch till they are born.. These guys really got cheated out of the award.
2. The Reah (Big Bird) Dad - (The largest bird from South America.) When the Reah mom hatches her eggs she shacks up with other Reah dads while the biological dad takes over and attacks anyone, (even the mom) who comes near the eggs. (He beat out the Cassowary Bird Dad, from Australia who sits on the eggs for a few months then does the child care for the first nine months. not bad.)
3. The Sand Goby Dad (a small fish from the British coast) - Nothing to be proud of here really. This research from the University of Florida - (2004) shows that when the females are watching and double-checking everything like wives usually do, the dads will protect the eggs, but when mom isn't around the house, dad tends to eat them. The researchers note "being a good [Sand Goby] father is very sexy. This is almost a cliche, as it has become a standard joke that the best way to get women to be interested in you as a single guy is to borrow a baby or a puppy. Women obviously find ‘caring guys’ very sexy".
4. Lions, bears, prairie dogs, orcas, gray whales, and sheep (tie). - If you have read this far, these animals and more are explored in Jeffrey Masson's amazing, extensive (and certainly more legitimate then mine) research of other research in his book, The Emperor's Embrace: Reflections on Animal Families and Fatherhood
Barking Frog Dad Fraud - The Barking Frog dad was getting credit for guarding
the "egg clutch" which stemmed from 1950's research
but it was disqualified for a nomination because the Tucson
Herpetological Society put the myths to rest with their own studies stating
radio-tracking data from Arizona suggests that males move too frequently to
guard eggs and that females may stay with the clutch (Goldberg and Schwalbe,