Animals That Eat Their Babies
Animals That Eat Their Babies
Imagine eating your own children. Sounds a little cruel, doesn’t it? This is a strange phenomenon, but in nature it’s a harsh reality. To me it also sounds a little counterproductive as raising offspring drives life. However, this is far from the truth. Animals that eat their babies have been doing this for generations. The very fact that these animals have not eaten themselves to extinction, shows this is a successful method of reproducing. Animals from all walks of life from the sea bed to the mountain top are guilty of this crime. Animals such as polar bears, hamsters, long tailed sun skinks and the male sand goby will all feast upon their babies for a variety of different reasons. Here are just some animals that eat their babies.
1) Animals That Eat Their Babies: Polar bears
Why do polar bears eat their babies? Polar bears in the wild will occasionally munch down on their own children. Although, this is a rare occasion. A wildlife photographer Jenny Ross came across a polar bear eating the bloody flesh of a much smaller and younger corpse in 2011. A popular theory among climatologists believe that the reason for this is because of the melting ice caps. With the whole ecosystem melting and falling apart around them. These animals are finding it harder and harder to find to valuable food, which will leave them starving and with no other options. But a zoo in Nuremberg, Germany had witnessed a mother polar bear eat one of her twin cubs. This leads scientists to believe that polar bear cannibalism has little do to with the polar ice caps melting.
2) Animals That Eat Their Babies: Hamsters
Hamsters may seem cute and innocent. However, there is a sinister side to these little balls of fluff. Hamsters are the most notorious animal for eating their own litter. The mother of a litter of 8 or 9 will on average eat 2 of her babies. Also, studies show that if extra pups are added to the litter right after birth. The mother will eat even more to keep the numbers down and more manageable. This seems a little harsh at first but a small sacrifice sometimes need to be made. Without culling the crowd, she will not have enough energy or resources available to her to feed the rest of her little. Eating her babies will do two things: provide her with food and nutrition, it will also enable her to ration out what little resources she has to her litter more generously. It will ensure her litter will grow up healthy and strong to reproduce themselves.
3) Animals That Eat Their Babies: Long Tailed Sun Skink
The long tailed sun skink will eat their own only if absolutely sure there are no other options. When predators threaten the long tailed sun skink, the mother will eat them all herself. She will do this because if the eggs are going to be eaten anyway, she may as well get the vital nutrition herself. The predator will then be left with nothing and must move on. This will help her go on to reproduce again, hopefully she will have better luck next time.