Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Which mammal produces the largest litter of babies? © Getty Images

Which mammal produces the largest litter of babies?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Humans have been known to give birth to up to eight babies at any one time, but that doesn't even bring us close to the biggest mammal litters.

Asked by: Anonymous

Advertisement

Probably the Tailless Tenrec (Tenrec ecaudatus) of Madagascar, although it depends how you measure it. Mammals can have very variable litter sizes, but as a rule, the maximum litter size is the number of nipples, and the average litter size about half that. In their native Madagascar, Tailless Tenrecs (21-29 nipples) have litters of roughly 15 on average, with up to 32 reported in the wild. The naked mole-rat would be another contender, with one litter of 33 reported.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content