Baby animals are cute, and that’s a fact that’s hard to dispute. Most of us love looking at pictures of them. But not many of us can say that we know what an animal looks like while it’s still in the womb. Did you know that there are prenatal photos of a variety of creatures, from penguins to elephants? Here are some of the best of them. See how many you can recognize... many of these animals change a lot while they’re gestating.
A Kangaroo In The Pouch
Even though everybody knows that kangaroo babies typically grow and travel in their mom’s pouch, it’s a totally different experience to actually see how it happens. It’s such a different way of gestation than most other animals have, and it’s really fascinating — and so is seeing this part of the process.
The Smallest Shark
Although dolphins in the womb look so similar to the way they look after birth, with sharks, it’s a little different. This itty bitty shark is still developing, but this is the start of life for one of the most interesting but also one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean. Seems hard to believe when he’s this tiny!
A Baby Opossum
This adorable baby will one day grow up to be an opossum, the little creatures we all often see in our own neighborhoods (hopefully alive, though). He barely looks like the adult opossum most of us have seen, but one day this little wormy-looking creature will totally transform.
These Polar Bears Are Already Bonding
Out of all the adorable animals in utero, this is definitely one of the sweetest — mostly because these baby polar bear siblings are already bonding. It’s crazy to see them all cuddled up like this, with their fur and all. Hopefully, they’re still this close after they’re born.
Awww, A Puppy Before Birth
If you thought puppies were cute after they’re born, you obviously haven’t seen what they look like in the womb. This little guy already looks like a fully-formed, adorable baby you can take home from the pound, and he hasn’t even been born yet. Look at those paws and that tail!
This Snake Isn’t Scary
Much like bats, a lot of people fear snakes, but seeing how tiny this one is before birth, it’s hard to believe that they’d freak people out. He’s so small and looks so friendly. If only all snakes were this adorable even after they were born, maybe more people would love them.
This Sweet Squirrel
This squirrel looks so much like the baby squirrels we're all used to seeing, but somehow, even more adorable. It's hard to believe that one day, this little guy will be covered with fur and running around, chasing birds and other squirrels up trees.
A Majestic Wolf
Wolves may be major predators, but this photo is proof that they started out the same way the rest of us did: all cuddled up inside our mom. One day, he'll be huge and stronger than most people... and way scarier. But hey, at least wolves are gorgeous.
Yikes, Look At This Tiger Shark's Little Teeth
Just by this tiger shark's developing face, it's easy to understand how he'll turn out to be one of the scariest, most deadly animals in the sea... and it's obvious that those razor-sharp teeth start developing very early. Even though he's small, he could grow to up to 16 feet as an adult.
This Precious Chimpanzee
If you thought the resemblance between any primate and humans is way too much to comprehend, that becomes even truer when you see what a chimpanzee looks like in the womb. This tiny chimp looks so much like what human fetuses look like!
A Tiny Baby Penguin
It’s hard to believe that penguins look like this in the egg — sporting their black and white feathers and all. But they’re crazy adorable even before they’re officially born, and so tiny! It’s hard to imagine that one day this little guy is going to enter the world and slide around on the ice.
This Is What A Cat Looks Like Before Birth
Cats are usually insanely adorable after they’re born (if you’re a cat person, you’ll definitely agree) but this photo is amazing and precious all at the same time. Look at the way his little tongue sticks out, as if he’s posing for the photo! He already seems to have such a personality.
Three Little Bats In A Row
A lot of people list bats among their greatest fears, but after seeing this adorable photo, it’s hard to imagine why. Seeing them so tiny in the beginning of their lives like this makes it impossible to think they could scare anyone… or even be one of the spooky icons of Halloween. They’re so cute!
Baby Bird Beak
This animal is almost unrecognizable in this photo, but it’s a bird in gestation. It’s hard to believe that this is what happens inside an egg before the bird pops out of it! Look at that tiny beak that’s already forming. It’s incredible that one day, he’ll have feathers and be able to fly.
A Cheetah In Utero
It’s a little insane to see that this is what a cheetah looks like as a fetus, especially since there’s basically no difference between this little guy and a full grown baby cheetah. Can we talk about the fact that he already has spots? Absolutely incredible.
A Growing Dolphin
Is it just us, or does it seem like this little guy is already smiling? Since dolphins are so huge in the ocean, it’s crazy to see how tiny this fetus is! And surprisingly enough, it’s easy to recognize what animal this is, fins and all.
The Smallest Elephant
Talk about seeing another huge animal in the tiniest form ever! Considering the fact that when elephants are born, they’re already massive and quickly learn to walk, it’s awesome to see how tiny they are before they make their grand entrance into the world.
A Developing Horse
This is another one of those animals who’s hard to identify at first. Is it a goat? Maybe a zebra? Nope, it’s neither of those… it’s actually a horse in its earliest stages of life. One day, this tiny guy will be big enough to be ridden — after he does a lot more growing, of course.
Moo! An Already-Adorable Cow
As one of the biggest animals on the farm, even cows start out this tiny. It's easy to see his or her features developing, and even though this cow has no idea what the world has in store for him, we'd like to think he grew big and strong and made lots of cow friends out there in the pasture.
It's hard to identify, but this is the embryo of a mouse. It kinda looks like the mice we know after birth, but at the same time, this embryo looks like it could be almost any animal. It's pretty fascinating to see how life begins for all these animals, big and small.
The Lone Lizard
This is what a lizard looks like before it is hatched. Notice how long its tail and appendages are already as if the little guy is just waiting to get out and stretch. While some lizards do lay eggs to bear their offspring, there are other species of lizards that actually have live births.
What Does This Look Like?
If you guessed a bat, then you're correct! This is a bat embryo in development and if we're being completely honest, we'd say that at this stage they look similar to some sort of Pokémon. Jokes aside, it's a wonder how this will eventually look like a full-on bat with wings!
In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle...
The lion sleeps tonight! At least, it looks like it is sleeping while it is still in its mother's womb. This lion cub looks like it is about to be born as you can see it already developed fur and teeny, tiny claws! So adorable! You can only imagine if this little guy will grow up to be the pride male.
This is another picture of a puppy while it is still in the womb. Notice how it is just starting to grow its fur at this point. Still, it already looks like the newborn puppies we are all so used to seeing and are eager to play with!
This Shark Looks Worried
This shark looks pretty worried while it's waiting to enter the world. It's probably getting anxious about the trials and tribulations of shark life and is unsure about whether or not he'd be able to handle it. But once he's born, we're sure he'll be just fine.
This One Will Be Very Big
Do you know why? That's because this is actually an elephant embryo! Isn't that wild? This elephant embryo is barely a few centimeters long but by the time it's born it will already be three feet tall! After that, it will grow up to be one of the largest animals on Earth!
This Little Piggy
Check out this fetus of a pig! It has already developed its snout and teeny, tiny hooves! Also, is it just us, or do you also think that this pig looks like it's smiling? Maybe it's just too excited to be born and roam the farm!
Slow And Steady
If you guessed that this is a turtle embryo, then you guessed correctly! This is one stage of a turtle embryo's development while still in its egg. Imagine all the possibilities it could go through once it finally hatches! Hopefully, it doesn't get into any competition with any hares...
A Sweet Little Kitten
This is another cat in the womb. Notice how it already began developing follicles on its upper lip for its future whiskers. The eyes are still sealed shut, so it might be safe to assume that its eyes are still developing at this stage. Once it's born, it will be able to explore all the world has to offer.
The Stages Of Growth
You've already seen a near-fully formed elephant in the womb as well as an elephant embryo. Here is an elephant in the womb in between both of those stages. It has already developed its trunk, but it is still pretty stubby at this point. It's crazy to think that most of its major features will already be there at birth.
Another For The Farm
This is what a chicken looks like in the embryonic stage. As you can see, much of its major features are still in development, although there's evidence of its wings and talons being formed right before our eyes! Eventually, it will hatch out of its egg as an adorable little chick!
Science Can Take Us To New Heights
If you think this looks pretty disturbing, don't be too alarmed. This is actually proof of fascinating scientific progress! This is a premature sheep fetus that was successfully kept alive in an artificial womb. Scientists used a plastic bag to create an environment similar to the womb, using tubes to deliver oxygen and nutrients.
Ready To Hop On Out
This is a kangaroo embryo that looks eager to grow up and out of its mother's pouch! Pictures like these really emphasize how it seems like life can spring out of nothing and grow into something great. Animals and humans literally start out as microscopic cells!
As Deep As The Ocean
That doesn't just apply to animals on land because the same goes for sea creatures that roam the deep blue. This is the smallest shark embryo we've shown you, so now you've seen a shark at various stages before birth! Isn't it crazy to think that some of the most feared animals start out so small?
Prepping To Be A Faithful Companion
Here is another puppy in the womb. This is supposedly a chihuahua puppy and we think it looks like a cross between a bear and a dog. Regardless, it is incredibly adorable! This one looks like it's dreaming about running free in the grass, that is, of course if it had a concept of that at this point.
You'll Never Guess What This Is
Can you guess what this embryo is? Most people would think platypus, but this is actually an embryo of a mole. Cool, right? Now that we've told you what it is you can totally see how this little guy will grow up to be a dirt-dwelling mole. What's even crazier is that moles only carry for about a month before giving birth!
This Little Guy Will Grow Up To Be Six Feet Tall
Six feet tall?! How is that possible? This is because this is what the embryo of a horse looks like in the very first stages of development. As you can see, this is only 30 days out. It will take almost a whole year for him to fully develop and be born!
Would You Want This Running Around Your Home?
This might look cute now, but squeamish people beware: this is the embryo of a mouse. While mice are considered cute by some, they're generally a nuisance to many. Hopefully, this little one doesn't grow up to wreak havoc in someone's home! In 20 days, we will find out.
Your Future Best Friend
We've shown you multiple puppies in the womb up until now, but here is a puppy in the early stages of development. It doesn't look like much now and to be completely honest, we'd say this is almost alien-like! But rest assured, this one will start to look more like your furry friend in a few months.
Another Future House Pet
You've seen the puppy in its early stages, now here is a cat! Like the puppy, the cat looks pretty extraterrestrial as well, but you can obviously see the markings of a cute kitten. Notice its tiny tail, mini paws, and ears starting to form! It's equal parts creepy and cute, but all around fascinating.