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Question of the week: Do other animals have belly buttons?

By Stacy Hackner, on 19 March 2014

Stacy Hackner_Thumbnail

by Stacy Hackner

This question was thrown at me at the end of a conversation about juvenile bone growth, and I was completely blindsided. I know my cat definitely has a bump in the place his navel should be, and I assumed all placental mammals have them.

Further research shows that indeed, all placental mammals start with a belly button (or navel, or umbilicus if you’re scientific). The navel is the remnant of the umbilical cord, which attaches a fetus to the mother’s placenta to deliver nutrients in utero. Thus animals that hatch from eggs don’t have them – this includes marsupials like kangaroos and wombats, which have not evolved a placental structure and instead incubate their young in a pouch. However, in most other mammals (and certain humans) they’re obscured by fur, and in some species they are a thin scar rather than a small bump, and fade over the course of the animal’s lifetime.

beluga

Umbilicus evident on a Grant Museum specimen of a fetal beluga whale.

 

20 Responses to “Question of the week: Do other animals have belly buttons?

  • 1
    stacytg wrote on 19 March 2014:

    RT @ResearchEngager: Question of the week: Do other animals have belly buttons? : http://t.co/ZL0vX7G5Gp

  • 2
    Question of the Week: How do sharks hear? | UCL Researchers in Museums wrote on 23 April 2014:

    […] Question of the week: Do other animals have belly buttons? […]

  • 3
    11 Cosas Ligeramente horripilantes Nunca de Sabia Acerca del vientre Botones | SuperChupy wrote on 20 July 2015:

    […] UCL investigadora Stacy Hackner Explica Que todos los Mamíferos placentarios, también Conocido Como las Que se Nutre los antes del nacimiento en el útero de la Madre, Comienzan con ombligo ONU. Sin embargo, la Mayoría de Estós Mamíferos (y Ciertos Seres Humanos) Tienen SUS ombligos oscurecida por la piel, se desvanecen con El Tiempo, o TIENE UNA cicatriz delgada o Pequeña protuberancia en Su Lugar. […]

  • 4
    11 Slightly Horrifying Things You Never Knew About Belly Buttons | SaltyPepper wrote on 20 July 2015:

    […] UCL researcher Stacy Hackner explains that all placental mammals, aka those that were nourished before birth in the mother’s uterus, start with a belly button. However, most of these mammals (and certain humans) have their navels obscured by fur, fade over time, or have a thin scar or small bump instead. […]

  • 5
    11 Slightly Horrifying Things You Never Knew About Belly Buttons | wrote on 21 July 2015:

    […] UCL researcher Stacy Hackner explains that all placental mammals, aka those that were nourished before birth in the mother’s uterus, start with a belly button. However, most of these mammals (and certain humans) have their navels obscured by fur, fade over time, or have a thin scar or small bump instead. […]

  • 6
    11 Slightly Horrifying Things You Never Knew About Belly Buttons – Seatbelt Guitar wrote on 21 July 2015:

    […] UCL researcher Stacy Hackner explains that all placental mammals, aka those that were nourished before birth in the mother’s uterus, start with a belly button. However, most of these mammals (and certain humans) have their navels obscured by fur, fade over time, or have a thin scar or small bump instead. […]

  • 7
    11 etwas erschreckende Dinge, die Du noch nicht über Bauchnabel wusstest | Fullact wrote on 21 July 2015:

    […] Forscherin Stacy Hackner erklärt, dass alle plazentalen Säugetiere, also die Säugetiere, die vor der Geburt im Uterus der […]

  • 8
    11 Slightly Horrifying Things You Never Knew About Belly Buttons – Ice Trend wrote on 22 July 2015:

    […] UCL researcher Stacy Hackner explains that all placental mammals, aka those that were nourished before birth in the mother’s uterus, start with a belly button. However, most of these mammals (and certain humans) have their navels obscured by fur, fade over time, or have a thin scar or small bump instead. […]

  • 9
    11 Slightly Horrifying Things You Never Knew About Belly Buttons – Buzz And Gossip – Buzz And Gossip wrote on 22 July 2015:

    […] UCL researcher Stacy Hackner explains that all placental mammals, aka those that were nourished before birth in the mother’s uterus, start with a belly button. However, most of these mammals (and certain humans) have their navels obscured by fur, fade over time, or have a thin scar or small bump instead. […]

  • 10
    11 Cosas ligeramente horribles que no sabías sobre los ombligos | CA Periodista Noticias| Centroamérica Noticias wrote on 23 July 2015:

    […] La investigadora de UCL Stacy Hackner explica que todos los mamíferos de placenta, es decir, aquellos que fueron alimentados antes del nacimiento en el útero de la madre, empiezan con un ombligo. Sin embargo, muchos de esos mamíferos (y algunos humanos) tienen ombligos ocultados por piel, se disipan con el tiempo o tienen una cicatriz fina o un pequeño bulto en su lugar. […]

  • 11
    11 Cosas ligeramente horribles que no sabías sobre los ombligos | CZAAL wrote on 23 July 2015:

    […] La investigadora de UCL Stacy Hackner explica que todos los mamíferos de placenta, es decir, aquellos que fueron alimentados antes del nacimiento en el útero de la madre, empiezan con un ombligo. Sin embargo, muchos de esos mamíferos (y algunos humanos) tienen ombligos ocultados por piel, se disipan con el tiempo o tienen una cicatriz fina o un pequeño bulto en su lugar. […]

  • 12
    11 coisas ligeiramente horríveis que você nunca soube sobre umbigos | CZAAL wrote on 27 July 2015:

    […] A pesquisadora da UCL, Stacy Hackner, explica que todos os mamíferos placentários, conhecidos como aqueles que foram alimentados antes do nascimento no útero da mãe, começam com um umbigo. No entanto, a maioria desses mamíferos (e certos seres humanos) tem seus umbigos obscurecidos pela pele, desaparecendo com o tempo, ou tem uma cicatriz fina ou pequeno caroço no lugar. […]

  • 13
    11 coisas ligeiramente horríveis que você nunca soube sobre um wrote on 28 July 2015:

    […] A pesquisadora da UCL, Stacy Hackner, explica que todos os mamíferos placentários, conhecidos como aqueles que foram alimentados antes do nascimento no útero da mãe, começam com um umbigo. No entanto, a maioria desses mamíferos (e certos seres humanos) tem seus umbigos obscurecidos pela pele, desaparecendo com o tempo, ou tem uma cicatriz fina ou pequeno caroço no lugar. […]

  • 14
    11 Slightly Horrifying Things You Never Knew About Belly Buttons – TodayMedia.News wrote on 6 August 2015:

    […] UCL researcher Stacy Hackner explains that each one placental mammals, aka people who have been nourished earlier than start within the mom's uterus, begin with a stomach button. However, most of those mammals (and sure people) have their navels obscured by fur, fade over time, or have a skinny scar or small bump as an alternative. […]

  • 15
    11 choses dégoûtantes que vous ne saviez pas sur votre nombril | Whouhou wrote on 26 August 2015:

    […] Stacy Hackner, chercheuse à l’UCL, explique que tous les mammifères placentaires, c’est-à-dire ceux qui étaient nourris dans l’utérus de leur mère avant la naissance, ont un nombril au début. Cependant, la plupart d’entre eux (et parfois certains humains) voient leur nombril caché par la fourrure, ont une toute petite cicatrice, ou bien une petite bosse. […]

  • 16
    11 choses dégoûtantes que vous ne saviez pas sur votre nombril wrote on 9 October 2015:

    […] Stacy Hackner, chercheuse à l’UCL, explique que tous les mammifères placentaires, c’est-à-dire ceux qui étaient nourris dans l’utérus de leur mère avant la naissance, ont un nombril au début. Cependant, la plupart d’entre eux (et parfois certains humains) voient leur nombril caché par la fourrure, ont une toute petite cicatrice, ou bien une petite bosse. […]

  • 17
    11 choses dégoûtantes que vous ne saviez pas sur votre nombril wrote on 9 October 2015:

    […] Stacy Hackner, chercheuse à l’UCL, explique que tous les mammifères placentaires, c’est-à-dire ceux qui étaient nourris dans l’utérus de leur mère avant la naissance, ont un nombril au début. Cependant, la plupart d’entre eux (et parfois certains humains) voient leur nombril caché par la fourrure, ont une toute petite cicatrice, ou bien une petite bosse. […]

  • 18
    Kaydence wrote on 18 July 2016:

    This ariltce went ahead and made my day.

  • 19
    Question of the week: Do other animals have belly buttons? | Stacy Hackner wrote on 12 September 2016:

    […] published on Student Engagers on March 19, 2014. This post became hugely popular after it was quoted in a Buzzfeed article (and […]

  • 20
    calli wrote on 4 August 2018:

    ok, thats crange. Cool and strange

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