Discover some unexpected species that have been observed feeding on their own kind. Cannibalism is ubiquitous in nature, ranging from insects to animals.
Chimpanzees will sometimes cannibalise their own newborn children, especially when males do not believe they are the father, in order to win breeding opportunities.
Existing cubs in a pride are frequently killed by male lions in order to reproduce with the moms more swiftly. Cannibalism is sometimes involved.
Hippos engage in "strategic infanticide" but do not eat their own young. They have been observed eating adult carcasses, which is unusual for herbivores.
Even pet hamsters can engage in cannibalism, with moms devouring their own young when they are malnourished. It's a harsh response to scarcity.
"Matriphagy" is an animal behaviour in which a female sacrifices herself as food to ensure the survival of her children. Crab spiders are one type of example.
Caecilians are limbless frogs that practise matriphagy, in which the young devour the mother's outer skin covering. Every three days, the skin regenerates.
Cannibalism is practised by cane toad tadpoles, with larger ones preying on their younger siblings due to resource rivalry.
Female praying mantis engage in sexual cannibalism by consuming males after reproducing. This increases fecundity and is frequent in insects and arachnids.
The black widow spider engages in sexual cannibalism on a regular basis, where females swallow smaller males, even during copulation.
Cannibalism among polar bears has increased as sea ice melts, reducing their hunting abilities and causing malnourishment.