7 Animal Siblings Who Are The Best Brothers And Sisters Ever
You may have heard of sibling rivalry in humans, but have you heard of sibling revelry in the animal kingdom? Here's how wild brothers and sisters help each other in the natural world.
The workers in a bee hive are all sisters. These dedicated siblings raise their younger sisters to maturity, feeding them honey and royal jelly. Not only do they groom their immature siblings, but they will also flutter their wings throughout the day so that the hive doesn't get too hot. When younger sisters are ready to become adults, their older siblings coat them with wax so that the babies can grow in peace.
Common shrew siblings take extra care to ensure that they all stay together. If there is a sign of danger in their surroundings, the babies will clamp down on each other's tails with their teeth in "caravan fashion." This special survival tactic can be seen in shrews when they are 16 days old, and the caravan can be made of as many as seven babies.
Cascaded tadpoles are special in their amazing ability to recognize and remember their brothers and sisters. Most frog species can recognize their kin only when they're very young, but cascade tadpoles will remember their siblings even as an adult, and may leave groups they're not related to so that they can hang out with their family.
4. Naked mole rats
Naked mole rats can have hundreds of siblings, all from the same mother. What makes mole rat sisters unique is that they're the only mammals known to be eusocial, meaning sisters organize themselves into large yet intimate colonies, with the older sisters maintaining burrows, helping to defend against predators and feeding their younger siblings. Usually only one female in a colony is allowed to reproduce - unlike many mammals, her sisters will sacrifice having mates so that the colony structure remains organized.
Turkeys take brotherhood to a whole new level. Many male bird species separate from the flock when they get older, but turkeys form remarkable fraternities with their brethren for life, helping each other to hunt and forage for food. A turkey brother may even help a dominant brother attract females while he himself foregoes mating.
The Asian short-clawed otter can have a family of 15 individuals. In this family older siblings help to raise younger offspring. As long as their parents are in the picture, otter siblings will often never part. Young siblings usually form groups with older females and will sometimes hold hands so that they don't drift apart.
7. Peregrine falcons
Sadly, in many bird species, newly hatched chicks are prone to commit siblicide, or the murder of their brothers and sisters for the sake of acquiring more resources. However, peregrine falcon siblings actually bond in a uniquely surprising way. Not only will they play with each other while airborne, but they will also practice their hunting skills on one another, where one falcon plays the role of predator and the other acts as prey.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that jellyfish are siphonophores. In fact, jellyfish belong to the phylum Cnidaria, though they are not siphonophores.