Penguin chick
An emperor penguin chick being kept warm by one parent as the other hunts for food. (© Art Wolfe/

Parenting in the animal world isn’t easy — have you ever had to protect your children from hungry predators? This Father’s Day, we’re celebrating animal dads that perform amazing feats to care for their young — enduring freezing temperatures for months, traveling more than 100 miles to find water and carrying newborns in their mouths to protect them from harm.

1. The sand grouse

Sand grouse
The sand grouse. (© Benjamin Hollis/Flickr Creative Commons)

In the deserts of Namibia, sand grouse risk their lives to bring water to their young chicks. Each day, males leave the relative safety of nesting grounds to travel nearly 125 miles (200 kilometers) to the closest watering hole — where predators are also drinking and looking for a meal. Sage grouse immerse themselves in water, lugging back a mere two tablespoons that their chicks drink from their fathers’ wet feathers. While two tablespoons may not seem like much, it means life or death for these young birds.

2. The golden lion tamarin

The endangered golden lion tamarind.
The endangered golden lion tamarind. (© Richard/Flickr Creative Commons)

These endangered, golden-haired primates are in for double trouble, as the female tamarin’s tendency to give birth to twins means more work for tamarin fathers. Native to coastal areas of southeastern Brazil, the monkeys are small, measuring 6 to 10 inches minus their tails. Yet males are weightlifting champions, carrying babies on their backs for about five weeks and only transferring them to females for 15-minute nursing breaks. What’s more, tamarin fathers prepare food for their young by mashing bananas and hand-feeding them.

3. The leafy sea dragon

The leafy sea dragon
The leafy sea dragon, a cousin of the seahorse. (© Nathan Rupert/Flickr Creative Commons)

Seahorses aren’t the only male animal that gets pregnant — two types of sea dragons, leafy and weedy, also give birth. At first glance, you might mistake…