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Elaborate? Do birds and other various other animals have "steps and ex-wives?"

Butterflykissesandlicks's picture

I'm curious. I know that when birds mate that they have one nest, not two...and that there is a "mom and dad" with chicks and daddy bird is watching out for his own,(not some ex-bird-mate) etc. while both go back and forth, taking turns and feeding the chicks, which in turn eventually grow up and leave the nest.
Do they keep coming and going from the nest after they learn to fly? Are there "other" birds that feel free to come and go when they wish to that nest? You get my point here. I have been looking at all of this "step" situation crap and have ruled it completely unnatural.

Are there stepfamilies in the wild at all? I do not think that because we are "humans" that we are exempt to the laws of nature. This is what we fight on a daily basis.

(not sure on primates though) LOL I thought we could all use a laugh today so I volunteered, of course.

Butterflykissesandlicks's picture

Crayon, I have and it was pretty accurate in my opinion. Of course we could all add more detail to any book though.

Moon Child Step Mom's picture

Hey there huntermom… I was thinking a LOT about your "Not Natural” post over this long thanksgiving weekend! It kept replaying itself over and over in my head like a pop song you can’t quite shake… whenever I’d *try* my damndest to make some part of the holiday traditions I grew up with fit in with my new life and new situation all I was left with was that thought… This just isn’t NATURAL!

I’m pretty sure penguins “adopt” and “surrogate”… but other than that, I’m pretty sure it’s a dog eat dog world for sure.

Butterflykissesandlicks's picture

I was not aware of that with penguins. I'll have to check that one out.

I'm thinking of typing in Google; " Animals and stepfamilies" or something to that effect and see what might pop up.

Anon2009's picture

I think about this a lot. I think that this is something BMs, SKs, DHs and us SMs and our bios (especially if they're also our DH's) struggle with a lot, because like you said, this is not a natural thing.

So, what would be an ideal plan of action for BMs, SKs, DHs and us SMs?

Butterflykissesandlicks's picture

That is exactly what I am searching for and trying to figure out. If anyone can think of anything, do tell please.

Rags's picture

Sure they do.

Let’s take Lions and Chimps for example. Daddy and the Mommies get frisky and babies are squeezed out. If it happens that a new Alpha male arrives on the scene when the babies are little then new Alpha male (StepDad) eats the young of his predecessor after the predecessor is run off and never heard from again.

If there is a change in hierarchy among the females often the new females (StepMom) will attempt to dine on the young of the previous high ranking females and will often run off the now lower ranking former Alpha females who are never heard from again.

In humans we are destined to raise the spawn of our predecessors and deal with our SOs former breeding partner seemingly for ever.

Who is the smartest species again? :?

overit2's picture

True-but we can also argue that we aren't animals, but humans. After all, for MOST animals monogamy isn't natural either, at ALL. Yet you'd be hard pressed to find most adults agree with that point.

Also, lions, once they have cubs the males typically leave them alone until they lioness is in heat again (in the meantime he's banging all the cousins) leaving her to raise the cubs w/out his intervening. She also goes out and HUNTS for him. SO...again...not everything that's not "natural" is something we humans avoid. There's a difference between animals and humans for sure.

Ok-wait don't penguins mate for life? But if they surrogate also then they're just plain odd for animal species all around lol.

There are many things that we humans do that aren't 'natural' when compared to mother nature/animal kingdom.

Butterflykissesandlicks's picture

@Huntermom- I thoroughly enjoyed all of this information! Thank you! (from one geek to another)

Lovepets's picture

Thank you for this post! You are right on about adoption vs. stepping. It is a totally different situation, entirely. Both my brother and I are adopted from two different families. Our parents love us both equally and overwhelmingly (but in a positive way!) Yet neither my parents nor my brother and his wife who adopted a child this year has any understanding of what being a stepparent involves. I have often thought about this, thanks Hunter!

Elizabeth's picture

Cats will foster kittens they did not give birth do and raise them until they are weaned. So will dogs, and even adopt animals of other species. I think the problem with humans is the abnormally long time it takes our children to reach adulthood. In cats, a female can have kittens at 6 months (sexual maturity). At that point, they are on their own. Human children reach sexual maturity about age 12 but we still have six more years of raising them! (This is just an example, I'm not advocating abandoning children once they hit puberty.)

Elizabeth's picture

OK, say an average cat lives for 12 years. It actually only spends eight weeks rearing its young, which equates to 1.3 percent of its lifespan per litter. Say an average human lives for 80 years and spends 18 years raising its young. This equates to 22.5 percent of a human's lifespan per child.

Butterflykissesandlicks's picture

The year, 1929. Now imagine the entitled youth of today having to put forth effort in the fields (if lucky enough to own lands) just to eat. What would they become without their XBox? Yikes. 1929 is not a far off possibility that might actually repeat itself, one day soon. (imo)