A photo gallery of nursing animals

We present below some pictures of different mammals feeding or nursing their babies. They are very sweet, cute pictures of a precious relationship between mom and baby.

The same is true of humans: breastfeeding is about nurturing one's child with the best food possible, at the same time providing comfort and closeness. It is very special and precious.

You probably learned in school the definition of a mammal: a mammal is an animal that gives milk to its young, and that has hair. The organ that produces the milk is called a mammary gland (in humans, mammary glands are called breasts).

Some people mistakenly think that only humans have enlarged mammary glands (protruding breasts). But that is not true. The udders of goats, sheep, and cows are their mammary glands — corresponding to the female breasts. The udder is quite visibly large even before the animal starts lactating. (Naturally, during lactation it is even bigger).

Nursing Animals Photo Album

An elephant nursing a calf
An elephant calf is nursing.
A cow nursing a calf
A calf nursing from a cow.
sealion nursing
Picture courtesy of Sara Bernard
This is a walrus pup getting milk.
piglets nursing
A bunch of piglets are nursing from mama pig.
wolfdog puppies nursing
Photo from PetandWildlife.com
Newborn wolfdog puppy nursing. Notice the mammary gland is definitely enlarged compared to non-lactating dog.
baby horse nursing
Picture courtesy of E.J.Zita.
newborn bull nursing
Bull nursing photos courtesy of The Farm in Diggers Valley
Newborn male calf (bull) nursing.
baby horse nursing
The same bull at 6 months. Mother has experienced "post-partum weight loss".
ewe nursing a lamb
Photo courtesy of Tongue River Farm
An icelandic ewe nursing a lamb.
baby horse nursing
Photo courtesy of Tongue River Farm
Udder on a very milky Icelandic ewe.
gorilla mother and baby
Photo courtesy of Adam Fagen from www.flickr.com/photos/afagen
A gorilla mother with baby. Gorilla babies are weaned around 3-4 years of age.
mother orangutan
Photo courtesy of Mike Johnson - TheBusyBrain.com
Orangutan mother. Look at her breasts! Orangutans wean the baby around 3-4 years of age but some nurse their young till 6 years or more.
gorilla baby nursing
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureclara
A gorilla mother nursing a baby. See the 'breasts'!
Monkey nursing
Here is a monkey "breastfeeding".

breastfeeding a small baby

Aren't those animal nursing pics cute? How much different is it then when you see a nursing mom? It's not. Humans are mammals, too. The purpose of female breasts is to produce milk for the offspring. It's still just about nourishment, bonding, and being close.