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Why Do Animals Eat Their Babies?

MinuteEarth Follow
  • Video description
  • 5 months ago
  • 279,506 views
  • 11,401 likes
  • 1,236 comments
Sometimes, it makes sense for critters across the animal kingdom to chow down on their own young.

Thanks to http://www.audible.com/minuteearth for sponsoring this video.

If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out this one by Jesse Agar: Why kill a baby? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REUzqgRh3GU (send some love from us)

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FYI: We try to leave jargon out of our videos, but if you want to learn more about this topic, here are some handy keywords to get your googling started:
- Filial cannibalism: is a form of infanticide that occurs when an adult individual of a species consumes all or part of the young of its own species or immediate offspring.

Species featured in this video:
- Hamsters (Cricetinae family)
- Assassin bug (Rhinocoris tristis)
- Red Tailed Monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius)
- Long Tailed Skink (Eutropis longicaudata)
- Egg-eating snake (Oligodon formosanus)
- Sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus)

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Rachel (@RA_Becks)
Script Editor: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Director: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder

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Thanks to our supporters on https://www.patreon.com/MinuteEarth :
- Maarten Bremer
- Jeff Straathof
- Tony Fadell
- Muhammad Shifaz
- Mark Roth
- Melissa Vigil
- Valentin
- Alberto Bortoni

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References:

Special thanks to Professor Hope Klug, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, for help with research on this video!

Day, C. S., & Galef, B. G. (1977). Pup cannibalism: One aspect of maternal behavior in golden hamsters. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 91(5), 1179-1189. doi:10.1037/h0077386

Gilbert, W. M., Nolan, P. M., Stoehr, A. M., & Hill, G. E. (2005). Filial Cannibalism at a House Finch Nest. The Wilson Bulletin, 117(4), 413-415. doi:10.1676/04-003.1
Full text: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20060130?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Huang, W. (2008). Predation risk of whole-clutch filial cannibalism in a tropical skink with maternal care. Behavioral Ecology, 19(6), 1069-1074.
Full text: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/6/1069.full#ref-1

Klug, H., & Bonsall, M. (2007). When to Care for, Abandon, or Eat Your Offspring: The Evolution of Parental Care and Filial Cannibalism. The American Naturalist, 170(6), 886-901. doi:10.1086/522936
Abstract: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/522936#rf13

Klug, H., & Lindstrom, K. (2008). Hurry-up and hatch: Selective filial cannibalism of slower developing eggs. Biology Letters, 4(2), 160-162. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0589
Abstract: http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/2/160

Why do some fish eat their own eggs? - Phys.org. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://phys.org/news/2016-02-fish-eggs.html
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