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Gestation Period

The term “gestation period” refers to the process in mammals during which the fetus develops inside the mother. Gestation begins at conception and ends at birth. The gestation period is different for all mammals. For humans, it is nine months (266 days). Gestation periods can be as low as 16-23 days (hamsters), or as long as 645 days for African elephants. Other notable gestation periods include: giraffes (420-450 days), sperm whales (480-590 days), rhinoceroses (450 days), mice (19-21 days), opossums (12-13 days), and kangaroos (42 days).

Gestation Period

Most of the time, the length of the gestational period is relative to the size of the mammal. In other words, larger animals have longer gestational periods. However, this is not always the case. For example, in animals that have a breeding season, where the animals give birth during specific times of the year, live births occur when food is abundant. It is the amount that the fetus grows during the gestation period that determines its length.

In mammals, pregnancy is determined to occur when a fertilized zygote implants in the uterus, and ends with birth. In humans, pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each approximately three months long. Live birth is known by the scientific term viviparity. Ovipary is the term used for animals that lay eggs.

Related Research Paper Topics

Human Reproduction Research Papers examine the reproductive process from conception to birth.

Women’s Health Research Papers discuss why the medical community pays special attention to the biology of women and discuss the physical and psychological aspects of women's health.

Early Stages of Pregnancy term papers discuss the hormonal changes that take place in a woman's body.

Stages of Human Development - One type of Stages of Human Development research paper breaks down the stages of human development from conception to the birth after 24 - 31 weeks. Another may use theorists like Piaget, Vygotsky and Erikson.

Human Reproductive System research papers look into the biological system that regulates internal fertilization through sexual intercourse.

Stages of Conception term papers look into the 3 main steps of the process of conception, which are ovulation, fertilization, and implantation.