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Infanticide

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by vogelcommando, 14 Nov 2014.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
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    11,384
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  2. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2014
    Posts:
    1,332
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I don't know of any zoo cases but I do know that infanticide is common in many animals. I have witnessed infanticide in female rabbits and guinea pigs as well as in male cats. I would not be surprised if it happened at a zoo, even a well run one. One of my favorite things to say when Mom eats her children is that maybe she knew something that we didn't (and now we never will unless we can get her to regurgitate them.) This is an effective way to recoup some of the lost nutrients from the whole pregnancy process as well as getting rid of anything that might attract predators. One example of why males might do so is in order to get rid of the progeny of a recently deposed male, whose females he has recently gotten rid of. We once had one of our cats foster an abandoned kitten, we rubbed her with mint so that the tomcat, who usually hung around when there was a litter of his progeny in the house didn't pick her up and do God only knows with her, and also so the molly didn't refuse to nurse her. Ironically this cat grew up to be a kitten thief, often taking kittens from other mothers when she had a litter of her own.

    I could go on forever thanks to my limited instruction in animal behavior and evolutionary psychology, but I won't unless you want me to.