Xplor More: Mama Mammal Math

By MDC | May 1, 2024
From Xplor: May/June 2024

Some mama mammals make many babies. They give birth to multiple litters throughout the year, and each litter may contain lots of little ones. A meadow vole was recorded to have 13 litters, totaling 78 babies, in one year. Whew! Other mammal moms have far fewer offspring. A gray bat has only one pup each year. For many mammals, the number of babies in a litter can vary. Chipmunks may have one to eight babies each time they give birth, but on average, they have four or five. (For this puzzle, each mom’s litter size does not change.)


Can you solve the math puzzles to figure out how many babies each mama mammal has in a typical litter? The first puzzle has been solved for you.

How Many Babies?

Fill in the blanks with how many babies each mama mammal has in a typical litter. Then, multiply by the number of litters to learn how many total babies each mom might make in a year.

Eastern cottontail: 8 litters per year

Bobcat: 1 litter per year

Striped skunk: 1 litter per year

Virginia opossum: 2 litters per year

Muskrat: 3 litters per year

Red fox: 1 litter per year

Southern flying squirrel: 2 litters per year

Little brown bat: 1 litter per year

Black bear: 1 litter per year

Also In This Issue


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This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber