Everybody loves their moms. They look out for us because, well, they are our moms. We’re not the only species where either one or both of our parents take care of us, making sure we reach adulthood unscathed.
Parental care is actually pretty widespread, especially in mammals, where viviparity (giving birth to live young, and not eggs) is the norm. The extra effort viviparity involves means that the parents have invested a lot in their offspring (kind of like a college fund), and usually ends up in mammal parents putting even more effort into raising their young, as they have already ‘committed’ to their offspring.
Parental duties can vary a lot, from fetching a meal to fending off a hungry predator. Whereas the former of these two duties may be pretty easy, the latter certainly isn’t. Risking their own life in order to save the life of their baby may seem like second nature, but a lot of animals wouldn’t do it.
If the parent can have many more offspring in its lifetime, it simply doesn’t make evolutionary sense. However, sometimes we see parents not being messed around, and turning the tables on the predator.
Exactly this happens in a recent viral video, where a snake has stolen a rats baby, and an adult rat comes to the rescue. This is presumably the mother, as maternal care is more common than paternal care in rats. As the video progresses, the rat has a go at the snakes tail, and eventually must get it where it hurts, as the snake drops the baby and starts trying to get away. When mom returns, the baby isn’t moving much, but is still very much alive. Finally, the mother picks her baby up and runs off back home, and hopefully the baby recovered.
Watch the video here:
Moms are great, aren’t they?