You’ve heard the horror stories about animals killing their babies, but why do they do that? And can it actually help the species survive?
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Why some animals eat their young
“At first, zookeepers were thrilled when Khali, named for the Hindu goddess of destruction from the bears’ native India, gave birth to three cubs, an unusually large litter for a sloth bear. But the first was stillborn. She consumed that cub immediately.”
Why Primates Kill Their Offspring
“In the langur colonies she observed, infanticides were hardly indiscriminate, which is what you might expect if the killings were driven by some kind of psychological anguish. In fact, the males never attacked their own offspring, and the ones they did knock off were less than six-months old-infants that were still suckling.”
Males make female horses abort
“Pregnant mares are likely to lose their foals if they are kept close to stallions, researchers have discovered. Horse breeders, including thoroughbred breeders in the UK, often send mares to stables to be mated with stallions. But a study reveals that, when they return, the pregnant mares engage in ‘promiscuous sex’ with males in their home stables, in an attempt to disguise the paternity of the foal.”
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