Universal Children’s Day!

Ever wondered how Children’s Day came about?

According to TimeandDate, 2017, the UN General Assembly recommended all countries to introduce a new annual event in 1954 in hopes of promoting fraternity and understanding between children all over the world.

That’s right! This event is called Universal Children’s Day! The UN General Assembly also suggested all countries to set an appropriate date with respect to their own country. Singapore has, since 1961, set Children’s Day as October 1. It was only in 2012 that the Ministry of Education decided to move this event to the first Friday of October (Chew, 2016).

Let’s now delve into the event with some interesting facts of young of animals and how we can relate to them (Because hey, why should they be excluded?):

  1. Young Orangutans stay with mum until they are seven or eight, having the lengthiest childhood among great apes (Beening, 2015). That is almost twice or more the amount of time for human babies to become fully weaned (two to four years)!

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  2. Once born, a giraffe calf can stand up and walk in one hour (Beening, 2015)! Humans need about a year after birth before they are able to walk. This could be because giraffe calves have to be able protect themselves in the wild while human babies are protected from birth.

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  3. Young Panamanian golden frogs, unable to defend themselves unlike the fully toxic adult, hide until they do so with their skin secretions (Beening, 2015). Humans do not have toxic skin secretions to protect ourselves even as we mature but we do have plenty of places to hide in, like buildings, all our lives!

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  4. At about five months, rhino calves begin the growth of their iconic horns (Beening, 2015). While humans do not have a “iconic” body part, one of the most important body part, the brain, grows to 80% of adult size by age two, imagine the amount of nutrients we need from birth till then!

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  5. Dogs have 28 teeth as puppies but mature to have a full 42 (James, 2014). Humans however start with only 20 when young (10 on top and bottom each) and 32 when grown up.

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  6. Before eggs hatch, chicks can “talk” to one another and mum by cheeping through the egg (James, 2014). Imagine if humans could do that! Too bad fetuses only communicate by kicking~

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  7. If a squirrel finds an abandoned squirrel baby, it will adopt the orphan (James, 2014). I believe humans do have this culture too, in a place called the orphanage.

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  8. Young chimpanzees make dolls using sticks and rocks, then have fun with them by scolding, feeding, and cuddling them (James, 2014). Looks like we aren’t the only ones with toys! Animals have their own version of Barbie dolls too.

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  9. Many eagle chicks perform homicide on siblings to gain access to more and better food from mum (James, 2014). Aren’t you glad this does not happen to us? Phew.

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  10. Young elephants suck their trunks for comfort (ViralForest, 2015). This might be similar to how it is a natural instinct for human babies to suck and therefore leading to the invention of pacifiers!

There you have it! Happy Children’s Day to all!! 😀

References:

Chew, H. M. (2016). Children’s Day on Oct 7: How it is celebrated around the world. Retrieved from: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/childrens-day-on-oct-7-how-it-is-celebrated-around-the-world

Timeanddate (2017). Universal Children’s Day. Retrieved from: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/universal-childrens-day

James, O. (2014). Amazing Babies: Facts About Young Animals. Retrieved from: https://www.phactual.com/amazing-babies-facts-about-young-animals/

ViralForest (2015). The 24 Most Adorable Animal Facts… OF ALL TIME. Retrieved from: http://www.viralforest.com/the-24-most-adorable-animal-facts-of-all-time/

Beening, J. (2015). 14 Adorable Baby Animal Facts. Retrieved from: http://blogs.sandiegozoo.org/2015/10/15/14-adorable-baby-animal-facts/

Words by: Joseph Chu

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