One of the most giant rodents on the plains of Texas all the way to Canada, they’re a pretty common species to run into. They serve as prey for many other animals, such as badgers and coyotes, and even their own kind.
Both mothers and fathers are guilty of the practice. Females will kill off entire litters of other mothers when they can, and it’s believed that they eat the young to obtain nutritional value. Fathers, on the other hand, know which females they’ve mated with and will kill pups of the litter that they believe have different parentage than his own.
25. Meerkats of the Prairie Get Into Vicious Fights
The meerkat is known for living in large family packs that move and thrive together to survive. They’re actually very social animals that thrive on attention. So it’s a little confusing that they would actually resort to killing their own.
The alpha female of any pack will kill the offspring of lesser females when she gets the chance. Then, these females are forced to either become wet nurses for the alpha’s family or to leave the pack in exile. Not the most comfortable choice in the world to make, as being on your own means a higher risk of becoming someone else’s meal.
26. Chacma Baboons Commit Infanticide to Regulate Numbers
Apes have pretty stable social structures. Everyone knows their place, and it’s rarely challenged as it can lead to vicious fights that often result in lost numbers.
However, chacma baboons, despite their strong familial ties, will resort to killing babies. The alpha males will murder the offspring of a female that they haven’t sired. This act leads to the female no longer lactating and becoming fertile again so that she can be viable to produce babies for them.
The Hanuman langur is respected amongst Buddhists, as they’re considered to be the embodiment of their deity Hanuman. They’re used as a form of pest control in keeping unwanted monkeys away. But that’s where their cute antics stop.
In a troop of langurs, there is one dominant male that is defended by the other females. If a new male manages to oust him, this new leader will kill all the infants in the troop so that he can better establish his DNA within the group.
Chimpanzees are another ape species that can get pretty violent when it comes to ensuring that their genes come out on top. The males battle to be the dominant sex partner in the group, and gangs of males will battle each other for dominance.
These fights can get pretty brutal, and unprotected children often fall into their warpath. What’s even sadder is that at the end of it all, the mothers will side with the victors, also if they’re the ones responsible for the death of their children.
29. The Pride of the African Continent is Quite Ruthless
Dubbed the “kings of the jungle,” lions actually live on the plains of African countries. But even with this moniker, lions have been losing their prey and habitat with the encroachment of humans into their territory.
They’re also their own worst enemy. When a new male ventures into a pride, he will kill off any of the cubs that are alive after he ousts the alpha male. This makes the females fertile again so that he can mate and create new offspring of his own.
Bears are one of the dominant omnivores of the forest, capable of eating anything and everything they come across. With those big powerful teeth, they can defend themselves quite well against any other predator.
But those teeth are also perfect for eating their own young. Although a mother bear is fiercely protective, if she senses that her cubs are sick, she will eat them to put them out of their misery instead of trying to raise them to be healthy.
31. Cute and Cuddly Sea Otters Have Blood on Their Hands
Sea otters are some of the most treasured animals at the zoo. They look cute and cuddly like they don’t have a mean bone in their body. However, you would be dead wrong.
Although they’re not interested in killing their own kind, they have been seen drowning and killing juvenile seals. To make matters worse, researchers have witnessed sea otters keeping the dead bodies and mating with them. This is normal behavior when mating with the females, and researchers have argued that its sexual frustration from the declining of female sea otter population.Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:
“10 Killer Animals That Commit Infanticide.” Nicollette B, ListVerse. March 28, 2016.
“Baby Animals That Kill Each Other To Reign Supreme In The Crib.” Hannah Irvine, Ranker.
“Tastes Like Chicken: 8 Animal Cannibals.” Animal Planet.