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Baby Animals by Matt, Danny and Kyndal

It doesn't matter if animals are furry or feathered, we're wild about all of them! We went to the zoo last spring and noticed a bunch of new baby animals. We knew they wouldn't stay little for long and wondered which animal would grow the fastest: a calf, a chick or a piglet?

What did we do?
We visited the baby animals every few days for one month. We took home videos of them and recorded their weights. We also figured out how many times heavier they were compared to their original birth weight.

What did we find out?
After a month, the cow gained 27 pounds, the pig gained about 20 pounds and the chicken gained only about one pound. But that's not the whole story! Even though the cow gained the most weight, it didn't grow the fastest. It multiplied its weight only 1.35 times. The pig multiplied its weight 7 times. The chicken's growth rate was fastest. It multiplied its birth weight 14 times! It looks like for these guys, the smaller the animal the faster it grows! Now we're going to see if that's true for other animals at the zoo.

What can you do?
  • Visit the zoo and look for baby animals in the exhibits. Watch how the babies interact with their moms or dads. Do they stay close to their parents or do they wander around by themselves? How do baby animals act different than the adults?
  • Do you have a new puppy or kitten? Start charting your observations and mark the dates when you think your pet becomes a "toddler," "teenager" or "adult." What behaviors or signs tell you what stage of life your pet is in?
  • Use this zoo investigation as a science fair project idea for your elementary or middle school science fair! Then tell us about it!
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More on Life Cycles

Go to the DFTV Boards, and tell us about your science investigation.
whiz quiz
What is the largest litter ever born to a dog?

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