Usually when a mom has a baby, just one baby comes out. Sometimes there are 2 babies, called twins; even more exciting is when there are 3 babies at once, called triplets…and the record is 8 babies at one time! They’re called octuplets. But our fans Alex and Jacob W. asked us, which animal of all has the most babies at once? For mammals, back in 2004 one mama dog had 24 puppies in one litter! But animals who lay eggs rack up bigger numbers. Among insects, a queen termite can lay 30,000 eggs in a day, adding up to around 165 million eggs in her life. Even crazier is that the cod (a fish), can lay 4 to 6 million eggs all in one batch. That makes it even harder to share with your brothers and sisters!
Wee ones: Fish, insects, reptiles and birds all lay eggs. How many kinds of animals is that?
Little kids: If you give 1 doggie treat to a mama dog and to each of her 4 puppies, how many treats do you give? Bonus: The most kittens in one litter is 19. How many more babies are in a dog’s litter of 24 puppies? Count up if it helps!
Big kids: A cod can lay up to 6 million eggs in 1 day. Can you “spell” 6 million in numbers? Bonus: If a termite lays 30,000 eggs a day all through June, how many eggs is that for the month? (Hint if needed: What would it be if she laid just 3,000 eggs a day?)
The sky’s the limit: If a queen bee in her life has 2,000 children who become queen bees, and each of those has 2,000 children, how many grandkids does the queen bee have?
Wee ones: 4 kinds of animals.
Little kids: 5 treats. Bonus: 5 more babies.
Big kids: 6,000,000. Bonus: 900,000 eggs!
The sky’s the limit: 4,000,000 grandchildren. (2,000 kids x 2,000 kids for each of those).
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.