Mother Nature's Supermums

Humans may have a special day for them, but in the animal kingdom, every day is Mother's Day. The primal maternal instinct shown by various species are often stronger than our own. Below are several animals who can definitely claim the title of supermums.


Giraffe's have a long gestation period of 15 months. When they give birth, giraffe mums usually isolate themselves from their herd so they can focus on protecting and raising their calf. When calves are born, they are almost immediately able to be on all four feet, but are still weak and in danger of predators. New mothers tend to join herds of other giraffe mums and calves so they can communally protect the young while being able to forage for food. Although giraffes are social animals, they do not form lasting relationships. Giraffe males usually do not participate in child-rearing and roam independently leaving the strong mother-calf bond to ensure the survival of the species.

Part of their African Savannah Wild Animals Sculpture Set, Lladró's Giraffes Sculpture shows an idyllic pair of giraffes walking together.


Lladró's Painful Kangaroo (right) is an uncommon piece from their older lineup and was retired in 1981.

Our dear Australian marsupials may surprise you by being on this list because they actually have one of the shorter gestation periods for mammals, considering their size, at around 30 to 36 days. The joey is birthed in an almost embryo-like state and requires nursing within the iconic kangaroo pouch for up to 8 months. A kangaroo mum can raise two joeys at once, even providing different milk types nutritionally at the same time to accommodate each joey's needs. Kangaroos are also matriarchal, with mother-daughter relationships continuing to deepen for their entire life.


Polar bear mums are the epitome of a prepared and steadfast parent. Females who successfully mate in spring bear a child for 8 months before giving birth in winter. To prepare, they fatten themselves enough and find a suitable den to hide in the fall. After they give birth, they do not eat food for up to 3 months whilst breastfeeding 1-3 cubs. They have the fattiest milk of any mammal to expedite cub growth: 31% fat early on to 16% fat towards the end. Even after emerging from the den after 3 months, cubs follow their mums for up to 2 months before weaning off to regular food.

Lladró's Mummy Bear and Babies (Left) is an iconic piece in their animal collection showcasing the intimate relationship between a mother and her cubs. It has been given the International Klein Blue and gold lustre treatment (centre) before, and now a new 2024 variant with gradiated pearlescent finish (right) in their Underwater series.


Our favourite canines make one of the most holistic parents. They have to care for a newborn who spends 10% of their time eating and 90% sleeping. They have such great maternal instincts that they even commonly adopt the young of other species including humans, cats, pigs, deer, wolves, and even chickens. Their lovable interspecies antics give us additional reason to love them more. Scientists attribute this behaviour to humans domesticating them as pets over hundreds of years.

Lladró's Gentle Surprise Dog Figurine (right) shows a dog being surprised by a butterfly landing on its tail.
Lladró's Mommy Panda shows a tender coddling moment shared by a mother panda and her cub. The glazed treatment on the eyes gives their expression further sparkle.


Lladró's Penguin Family Sculpture Blue-Gold Limited Edition (left) captures the sharing of parental duties between mother and father penguins. It is also available in regular glazed colours.

After the female lays a single egg, she leaves for several weeks to replenish her food stores, going as far as 650km per trip. The father is left to guard and incubate the egg under his body until it hatches, which might take around 2 months. Fathers often huddle together in a colony to conserve body heat while they fast during this period, and end up losing half their body weight. The chick usually hatches before the mother returns, but the dad can provide 'crop milk' for two weeks, a nutritious protein and fat secretion.

After hatching, the parents take turns foraging in the sea and caring for and training their chick. They make nests on a seasonal ice sheet during Antartic winter, so there is a time limit to prepare their ntarcticAhick for independence before the ice sheets melt. These birds are nature's proof that sharing of duties is possible amongst new parents.


Being the largest land mammal, it wouldn't be a surprise to know they have the longest gestation period: an average of 22 months (that's longer than even the blue whale)! After giving birth, a mother's milk changes form 4 times to suit various baby growth stages like spurts and teething. They also breastfeed their young as old as 10 years. Elephants also have incredible memories, and the matriarch is able to lead the herd to water spouts visited many years prior.

Elephant herds are highly matriarchal, with the eldest female having great control over social issues and survivability (as seen in the scene of African Savannah Wild Animals Sculpture) and daughters usually stay with their mothers for life. Females also care for other calves beyond their own in the herd, with research showing that the more females are available to 'allomother' the young, the higher their survival rates. Finally, elephants can have intense emotional experiences, probably as much as humans. They sometimes go back to the dying sites of loved ones or mourn the loss of a stillborn, and they can even empathise with the emotions of humans they know.

In many cultures, elephants are revered as symbols of wisdom, intelligence, fertility, loyalty, and even power. Lladró's Leading The Way Elephants White Sculpture is a technical marvel, with textural detail of the elephants' skin and realistic emotional portrayal of a mother and her calf.

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