The Science Behind Why Animals Lick Their Newborns

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 The Science Behind Why Animals Lick Their Newborns

Despite the fact that humans are mammals, we are one of the few species that don’t lick our babies. This is most likely due to evolution, which has given us hands with opposable thumbs to help us clean our babies through other means. Humans bond with their babies with skin-to-skin contact rather than through licking anyways, so if humans were to lick their young, it would most likely be for cleaning purposes only.



Another factor for why humans don’t lick their young may have to do with the fact that human infants’ organs don’t need stimulation after birth to properly function. Many other mammals require help stimulating blood flow, the digestive system, and breathing immediately after birth. Human babies don’t require this and are generally born able to breathe and function on their own after birth (via HowStuffWorks).



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