Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Writing: Input Wanted 8 teats per female?

  1. Mar 21, 2016 #1
    My Momma told me that if these humanoids can have up to 12 babies in a single pregnancy that they should have 8 teats like a dog does. However to me, having what is basically a single big breast with 8 teats seems weirder for a humanoid than the ability to grow a 3rd breast. I mean yes it would mean that they can produce a lot more milk before they get full but still it seems weird.

    This is why I proposed the growth of a third breast possible after a pregnancy with at least triplets and having a group of lactating women for those who have 5 or more(quadruplets are much easier to nurse than quintuplets).

    Now this pretty much means that either the children have to nurse longer(which makes sense with the delay on eating solid food to 9 months instead of 6 months) or the lactating women have to somehow stimulate themselves to produce milk with or without a baby.

    But would this actually be beneficial?

    I mean on the one hand, there is a lot of food and water for them but on the other hand there is a higher chance of sickness spreading, even with an isolated sick bay. Plus there is a higher chance of one child getting severe allergies and even anaphylaxis.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Which humanoids? Is this a story you're working on? What is the background? Don't assume we know what you're talking about here.

    During pregnancy existing breasts do undergo changes that prepare them for breastfeeding. They grow, lay down fat and their milk ducts develop. Growing an entirely new breast is a much more complicated beast. In addition (assuming the women you're talking about are humans) breasts only develop along the milk lines which are symmetrical along either side of the body.

    Growing a breast after pregnancy is too late, you want already existing breasts to develop during. As for groups that does not seem a likely evolutionary pathway. It requires the evolution of traits encouraging socialisation, co-operation and pregnancies to match up. Simply evolving an additional pair of breasts is far more likely.
  4. Mar 22, 2016 #3
    The humanoids I am talking about are the ones in my Kepler Bb story that have several anatomical differences between them and us humans.

    Here are just a few anatomical differences:

    2 hearts and circulatory systems(so heart disease doesn't mean death unless it affects both hearts)
    Increased intracranial space(this helps increase oxygen transport and fluid balance in a swollen brain)
    Supercharged immune cells(this helps them survive any infection and it even helps them survive envenomation and poisoning)

    As for extra breasts and symmetry there are some real humans with extra breasts. Most of those extra breasts don't function but there is the rare occasion that the extra breasts do function.

    After pregnancy doesn't seem too late to me. I mean, breastfeeding women still produce more estrogen and progesterone than women who aren't pregnant nor breastfeeding and those hormones along with supporting pregnancy and ovulation also help with breast growth.

    And wet nurses(who are women that help breastfeed babies) can lactate for 20-30 years without having to become pregnant very often as long as there are babies for them to breastfeed.

    Plus humanoid species are very likely to have evolved socialization and co-operation as well as collective learning(where each generation(and I am using it scientifically) knows more than the previous one).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted