There’s a term for animals who kill their kind. Named as infanticide, these animals are typically adults and they kill their kind for various reasons. Animal offspring are often killed by mistake. But in many cases, the killings are deliberate. Here are a few infanticide animals who kill their kind.
Langurs are a type of monkeys living in India. While these animals look skinny, they are very aggressive. Here’s the story of how they kill their offspring. Langurs live in tribes dominated by one male. This one male has the power when it comes to reproductive rights. At any given time, this leading male can be overthrown by another male langur in a direct flight. If the confronting male wins, there are high chances this male will kill all of the offspring of the previously leading male of the tribe. It’s all about power in the langurs’ world.
Lions live in small groups rather than in tribes such as langurs. But they also kill baby lions for power. It is estimated that the leading male lion is often having to fight with mates with other groups of lions where one is the main contender for the leader of the group. Again, all lion offspring up to the age of 1 can be killed following a successful overthrow of a male lion.
The problem in the lion world lies in the female lion who ferociously defends her offspring, even against male lions. Male lions can fight directly with the female lion in such situations. Male lions only have a limited window to reproduce (about a couple of years) and this process tends to be accelerated so that the new leading male lion can reproduce with the females.
Females killing their kind in the animal world
It’s not only the males that kill their offspring in the animal kingdom. Females kill their babies as well. This is considered a bit rarer by comparison, but the process still exists.
Jacana Jacana is a bird species where the female kill its offspring when displace or evicted from the area it lives in. This female bird ends up in another territory where there’s a new leading male. It kills its offspring and it mates with the leading male here. This extreme gesture can be considered as an attempt to get into the graces of the leading male.
We see this process even in the oceanic world. Damselfish tend to eat their kind. But the process in which females kill their offspring is still under research. New species are unveiled every year. Studies show even pigs kill and eat their offspring on occasion. The animal world can certainly be cruel most of the time. But offspring are mostly killed in an effort of dominance and power struggle rather than for food. In most cases, it’s the territorial or group power struggle that sees animal offspring fall victims. We must also note the process is inexistent in some animal species/