Whose: Anna Blix
What: Biologist, author and political advisor
Why: Has published the book “40 weeks, a human pregnancy and 81 other ways to have children”
Animals are pregnant in many ways. Tell about the weirdest ones!
– The clove grows a clone of itself on the side of the body. Then you have those who just release eggs and sperm into the sea, they have to do the job of finding each other themselves. Surinam toad, which is actually a frog, becomes pregnant on its back. Common frogs lay eggs in water, but these have evolved to take care of their eggs to ensure better survival. They have started to stick the eggs on the back, then the back skin swells up around the eggs. There they lie until they are tadpoles and finally ready frogs that pop out of their backs. And then you have sharks that are pregnant for 3.5 years, and squid that look after their eggs until they hatch. In the meantime, they eat nothing, so when the eggs hatch they die.
Which animal has the best pregnancy?
– From a gender perspective, I would say the seahorse. There, it is the male who is pregnant and does the work. It gives birth after three weeks, and has many contractions in its body that look like contractions. It’s probably not very fun. The female lays eggs in his brood pouch. Then she comes by once a day to check that everything is in order. Otherwise she just flops around.
[ «Gleden med skjeden»-forfatter: – Kvinner har både ereksjoner og «morrabrød» ]
And the worst?
– The spotted skins. It gives birth through a modified clitoris that looks like a penis. It is called a pseudopenis. The clitoris has grown into a long tube, through which it also urinates. It is very tight when she has to give birth to the puppies through the pseudopenis. 60 percent of first-born puppies die because it is so cramped. The way you can tell the difference between a male and a female is that, if she has given birth, she has many scars on her clitoris that have split open during childbirth.
Therefore. What kind of book is this?
– It is a kind of pregnancy book. I was pregnant and became very sick and nauseous. Every week I reflect on other animals that have finished their reproduction then. Why aren’t we like them? Like an eider, which lies on the nest for 4 weeks and then is done. It must be pretty cool.
Do we humans have particularly unpleasant pregnancies?
– We are the only ones who have pregnancy sickness. A few animals eat a little less for a few weeks, but no animals have been observed vomiting. We have one observation of a chimpanzee in captivity who appeared to be nauseous, whereas very many people are nauseous. So we are the ones who have won the evolutionary lottery there.
[ Verdens største krigsskip er i Oslo og viser oss at verden er et skummelt sted ]
Did you find the answer to why it is like that?
– As a biologist, I thought it was absolutely insane that I felt so nauseous and ill. Why hasn’t this been evolved away? If I had been lying in a Stone Age cave thousands of years ago, I would have died. But I could stay at home and send a message to my partner telling me to bring what I could eat.
Yes, what is the evolutionary advantage of that?
– Yes, we humans eat a lot of different food. Few animals do that. Then it is difficult to evolve enzymes that can break down everything that comes with the food, such as toxins. Then it is those who became ill who survived, while those who ate everything while pregnant died. We humans also look after each other. It is our biggest difference from other animals. That’s what makes it possible to be so bad.
[ Advarer minoriteter mot å reise hit: – Åpenlyst fiendtlig mot svarte ]
Nevertheless, we get horribly helpless children. After all, they need help with everything for several years. Do other mammals give birth to young that can run away from predators as soon as they are born?
– Yes, but many of them are eaten. We have a very low infant mortality rate, because we take such good care of each other. And even though our children are very helpless, they have very big brains. And you have to get the baby out of your body. A bat gives birth to a young that is 45 percent of its mother’s weight. So if I weigh 60 kilos I would give birth to a 25 kilo baby. It is wonderful to give birth to small children. There is an evolutionary trade-off between being able to give birth and producing something that can fend for itself a little.
Which book has meant the most to you?
– American professor Sarah B. Hrdy’s “Mother Nature”. There she questions the idea that all mothers among all animals have an innate maternal instinct, that they will automatically be good mothers. She believes that both men and women in humans are equally good caregivers, that we have evolved to look after our children together.
[ Kjære barnehageansatte, dere hører ikke gråten fra et ensomt barn ]
What makes you happy?
– Sitting in peace on the balcony in the sun and reading a book.
If you have recently given birth, do you have small children? So it’s not that easy to achieve, is it?
– No. But you can scatter non-stop across the living room floor and put on hearing protection.
[ Bygger gigablokker mot byrådets og kommunens vilje ]
[ – Dette begynner å ligne en fullstendig skandale ]
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