When animals are born in zoos, one of the first things keepers do is weigh and measure the newborns to make sure they're healthy. The measurement also gives keepers a baseline to track the animal's growth. In some cases, the measurements are minuscule, while in others, they're relatively gigantic.
This clouded leopard cub above recently made headlines for more than just his general cuteness. Born March 1 at the Nashville Zoo, he's the first of his species to be born from artificial insemination using frozen (then thawed) semen. The conservation project is in conjunction with Smithsonian's National Zoo. The cub will be hand-raised by keepers with plans to one day introduce him to a potential mate.
But that's a long ways down the road. Step 1: They had to measure the little guy.
His adorable measuring moment captured our attention, and made us recall other such memorable moments. Here's a look at more newborns being weighed and measured as they take their first tentative looks at their new world.
Baby Humboldt penguin chick Wotsit is weighed not long after he was hatched at the Chester Zoo. (Photo: Chester Zoo)
A Southern three-banded armadillo baby is measured at the RZSS Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. (Photo: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo)
This tiny panther chameleon is one of four hatched at the Tennessee Aquarium. He measured in at the wee size of 2 inches long. (Photo: Tennessee Aquarium)
Willow, a baby reticulated giraffe, was 6' 1" tall when she was born at the Maryland Zoo. (Photo: Maryland Zoo)
A giant panda cub is measured at Smithsonian's National Zoo. (Photo: Smithsonian's National Zoo/flickr)
So, this last one isn't technically a measurement, but you sure can get an idea of this little guy's size, just by seeing him in his keeper's hand.
This baby echidna, called a puggle, was born at the Perth Zoo in Australia. It takes a while for puggles to grow their adult spikes. (Photo: Perth Zoo)