Wildlife Blog

In the Womb: Extreme Animals

We recently reviewed National Geographic’s book, In the Womb: Animals, which followed the birth journey of a golden retriever, bottlenose dolphin, and Asian elephant.  Intertwined with the main stories were glimpses into the peculiar behavior and development of kangaroos, sharks, penguins, and wasps.

Now we have the opportunity to learn more about the reproductive cycle of these extraordinary creatures.  This Sunday, May 10 at 9pm, the National Geographic Channel is airing a full documentary called In the Womb: Extreme Animals.  Using 4D ultrasound images and fetal imaging techniques, the two-hour special will highlight bizarre, sometimes gruesome, activity such as the parasitic wasps’ larval development inside the body of a young cabbage white caterpillar and the lemon sharks’ embryonic cannibalism.

Watch a clip of the documentary featuring how a penguin fetus uses a complex and clever adaptation to get oxygen while inside the egg:


2 week old red kangaroo joey in the pouch.  (Photo credit © Hannah James / Pioneer Productions)


An Emperor penguin chick embryo inside its egg after about one week’s gestation. (Photo credit © Steve Gomez / Pioneer Productions )


Model of a mid stage Lemon Shark embryo.  (Photo credit © David Barlow Photography)


Parasitic wasp successfully oviposits her eggs into a newborn caterpillar.  (Photo credit © Hans Smid / Pioneer Productions)

For more info, see the National Geographic Channel: Extreme Animals website or catch the program on Sunday, May 10, at 9pm.

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