When Father’s Day rolls around, the talk inevitably turns to the toughest, manliest, sportiest and handiest dads.
But how about the cute and sweet ones? They might not drive trucks or play golf, but they’re just as deserving of recognition for their contributions to family life — even if they have more fur than a week-old beard and more legs than necessary for a game of backyard soccer.
Take a look at the sweetest dads in the animal kingdom:
Emperor Penguin 1 of 5There are plenty of dads — human and animal — that just aren't programmed to stick around. The Emperor male penguin is the polar opposite (get it? Polar?). While the females split in the winter to go get some food, the males stick around and incubate the egg, ensuring the safety of their offspring.
Wolf 2 of 5Another monogamous creature, the male wolf mates for life with his baby mama, ensuring protection and lots of attention for her and their babies. After a baby wolf is born, the dad stands guard at the den while mother and child stay inside for weeks. He also provides fresh kill for their bellies and mentors his pups to make sure they fit in well with the rest of the pack.
Rhea 3 of 5A flightless bird, the rhea also incubates the female's egg until it's time to hatch. But unlike the monogamous wolf and Emperor penguin, male rheas amass a harem of up to 12 females. Yet despite their taste for lots of ladies, they make sure they're there for each and every one — building nests, raising the babies ALONE for the first six months of life and charging at anyone who threatens their well-being.
Marmoset 4 of 5Small and furry, these tree-dwelling primates are fathers first — period. The dads groom, feed and cart around their offspring (with some help from other family members, but still) soon after birth when the mom becomes a bit disinterested. They also act as midwives during birth, cleaning up the afterbirth and biting off the umbilical cord.
Frogs 5 of 5Frog dads are known for their dedication. Some frog fathers carry their tadpoles in their mouth and won't eat until the tadpoles can survive on their own. Others literally embed their offspring inside their skin to ensure their safety. If that's not love, what is?
Check out the entries from Babble’s Best New Dad Photo Contest!